Hey everyone! I know it’s been a few days, but I was out gathering plenty of content for this post! This second week with the camera has been amazing. I’ve gone out to some secluded locations in hopes for some good photos, and I’m happy with what I came up with.
If you remember from my previous post, I was eyeing 2 new lenses to pick up. The Samyang 14mm f/2.8 (this lens is $70 off right now at limited stock. If looking for a great wide angle fast lens, snag this one!) and the Canon EF-S 55-250 f/4-5.6. I decided to pull the trigger and pick both of them up. I wanted the telephoto for wildlife/deep space photography, while I wanted the wide angle for landscape/star photography. The one downside to the Samyang is that it’s fully manual. It doesn’t have an autofocus and it’s aperture is also manual. Perfect for what I wanted though, as I wanted something to learn on.
I was eager to try these new lenses out, so as soon as they were delivered I went to my local pond. The water is pretty murky there, but I managed to snap a picture of this turtle coming up for some air. I love the colors on his neck and shell.
Unfortunately there wasn’t much wildlife on the pond when I went. Sometimes we have some geese and ducks but none showed that day. I was kind of short on time, and didn’t get to capture many pictures, but did get a good photo of my niece looking out at the water.
The next day I got the urge to photograph a waterfall. I’ve seen some pictures in videos of nice flowing water and it didn’t seem that hard to get a decent photo. Other plans were meant for me that day. I tried going around to 3 different waterfalls in the Cuyahoga Valley, 2 were closed, and 1 was a far and difficult hike. Again crunched on time, I decided to walk on the towpath in downtown Peninsula. This is a gorgeous path along the Cuyahoga River. I found a nice bank to setup my camera on the tripod and take a picture. I was able to capture the movement of the water, and get a nice flowing image. It does look a bit busy in some places though.
The cool thing about this path are the locks that are along it. The Cuyahoga Valley had a lot of them because the Cuyahoga River served as a main transportation and shipping lane from Lake Erie. These locks have since been retired, and many are located along the towpath. This part served to divert water from the lock to another part of the stream.
I edited this photo to make it look like dusk. I loved the look of the moss coming through the stone bricks, and wanted to give it a spooky or uneasy look. Turned out great considering how bright it was that day!
Moving down the path, I found lots of spider webs. These were very difficult to get focused on the camera. Most of the images came out blurry and overexposed. I managed to salvage one, even though it’s still a little blurry. I tried sharpening it a bit, but it fell short. I’m very happy that the spider was on it though.
A bit further down the hike I came up to a nice little tunnel. This tunnel has train tracks right on top of it. Unfortunately, I had missed an opportunity when I saw a train shoot by on top. I was just out of range and wasn’t ready to take a picture. It would have been a great shot with the train on top.
Again coming up short on the wildlife, I wanted to find a nice subject to shoot. Get a nice blurry background. I came across this mile marker, and it looked great. I don’t see many mile markers made of stone, and it added to the look of the photo. (Funny thought : I’ve been following this account on twitter, “Images That Could be Album Covers” and I thought this definitely could be one!)
Coming up on the end of the hike, I found this nice shoreline with water-soaked rocks on it. The textures on these rocks were great for a close up. I wish I could have gotten a little lower to the ground to capture a little more vertical background, but I’m very happy with how this photo came out.
Later that night, I had my first test for astrophotography. It was a very clear night, and I decided to go out onto my deck and try and get something. I didn’t care if it was just a few stars, just something to turn out. My porch overlooks a parking lot (I live in a condo development), and there was a lot of light. Knowing that not much would turn out, I pointed my camera directly up, hoping to mitigate at least a little bit of light pollution. The biggest mistake I made was not researching exactly how to focus onto the night sky. I’ve since learned how, but my images this night were out of focus. Which was perfectly fine, as I said, I just wanted something. I’m extremely satisfied with my very first image of astrophotography. I know it’s not the best, but given the short time with the camera, the new manual focus lens, and a lot of light pollution, I’m ecstatic. I believe I was shooting around 15 second shutter speed, f/2.8, and ISO of 1600. I will get better!
This day kind of happened on a whim. I was at work taking the trash out, and noticed this field behind our building. I’ve never given much thought to the field, but with all the white flowers blooming, I thought it’d be a perfect setting for some photos. I just so happened to have my camera on me that day as well. The goal of this first image was again to make it look like night time. I wanted the creepy/eerie look for this field. I lowered the ISO to 100, moved the shutter speed to around 1/250, and increased aperture to f/16. It’s got a little bit of noise in the background, but I think it came out good otherwise.
I also took a few with my wide angle, though I wasn’t too happy with the off center subject here. The photo doesn’t look that balanced.
I swapped out to my telephoto, and zoomed in on this one flower that was standing high. I was happy to find out a little honey bee was on it. It was a bit tough getting the lens to focus on this flower. It was a good 100 feet away, I was at max focal length for the lens. One thing I wanna figure out is the dark blue outline surrounding the trees. I’m not sure if that’s a product of editing, or the bokeh on the lens. I’d like to figure out a way to get that color to blend in a bit better with the blues of the sky.
This was the day! I finally got time to go hike the path to the waterfall. This was a very difficult path for me. I am not that physically fit, and this path was very hilly (it starts out with a 200 foot climb)! The target location was Blue Hen Falls. This is a secluded waterfall located on the Buckeye Trail in Boston Mills Township. The hike is beautiful. You’re in the forest most of the time, and the snaking trail up the hills adds to the feeling. It was nice and quiet too. Plenty of wildlife around. You are rewarded for the arduous hike though. The falls are beautiful. Not too big, but a nice location. The water travels over the ledge of a large sheet of shale. Over the years the water has eroded a lot of the ground, and has left a nice ledge for the back of the waterfall.
This is what I loved the most. A difficult journey rewarded with beautiful nature. I have a feeling I will want to chase this feeling even more now that I’ve adopted photography. I’ve always loved hiking, but it’s been slowly pushed to the backburner. Perhaps this is the time to readopt it.
The hike back from the falls is much easier. Mostly downhill. Well worth the time, but be prepared and go on a dry day. This hike would be amazing during the fall! The leaves would be a beautiful orange/yellow. I may have to plan a trip back!
I want to get better at remembering what settings my camera are on when I take photos. I’d love to include exact settings on the blog for others to see. It’s just tough remembering settings when I end up taking over 100 or so photos during a shoot.
I know this was a longer post, but I got so caught up in capturing photos that I didn’t make time for writing. This past week has been great. I’ve had a few doubts on myself, whether the pictures would turn out, or if what I was doing was worth my while or not. Writing this post helped tremendously with those thoughts. Looking back on the pictures and seeing my progress has me excited for what may come next. Let me know how you like the structure of this blog. Did the dates of each session helped to organize the post? Perhaps this is how I will structure future posts of mass content.
I really wanted this post to go live before August 11th, but I couldn’t get it finished in time. Stay tuned for my next post! I ventured out in hopes of getting some great pictures of The Sturgeon Moon, August’s Supermoon, the last supermoon of the year! (Slight spoiler : I got some great photos!)
Until next time!
One thought on “New Lenses”
I actually like the off-center flower a lot. The sky is beautiful in that photo. I like a lot of the Horton. You definitely have some good pictures here.