Enrichment Voyage: Central America & the Panama Canal. Nikonians Ultimate Travel Workshop 2011 (UTW-II) Day 7 – Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Tarrales Bird Watching Tour.
We had to get up early in order to depart for the Tarrales Bird Watching Tour at 05:30 AM. On the bus ride to Tarrales I got a grab shot of some school girls waiting for the bus to school. A good fraction of the folks on this tour were part of the Rhodes Scholar contingent attending the Enrichment Voyage. As such the average age was higher, and we knew that we would not be hiking as far as we did yesterday to the volcano. Even though we left early, it wasn’t early enough for best bird viewing. Also, my 70-300 mm lens did not have the reach to get good images of the birds we did see. Our guide was good at finding the birds in the canopy. I only have one image of a midget owl, and it is a crop zoomed to 100%. It would have been a bit better if I took my D3x body with double the sensor size vs. the D3s body. I took the D3s because of the better low light capabilities coupled with the 70-300 f/5.6 limits. Jon got some better images with his 400 mm f/4 + TC.
After the Owl, I then switched to my 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens and focused on closer objects. In addition to close-up images of insects and flowers, the 105 mm lens is also great for people. Even with its small depth of field, it is very sharp. The remainder of the following images are of a small girl in Tarrales, a local jail, a close up of a China Berry, and of a flower with a bee. Then images from the bus ride back to the M/V Explorer. A school girl, Guatemalla mass transit, a coconut vendor with his machete, limes at a produce stand, woman walking past a produce vendor, a cross-eyed guy next to a “Prohibido Estanciona” sign, woman vendor cutting coconut, her son, and several images from an open market produce vendor.
Springtime Nature in New Jersey. Sourland Mountain Preserve.
I found a Canada Goose nesting near the pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. This was the first time I visited this spring, and only had a small Leica point & shoot to take any images. The bird is well hidden, and has filled the nest with a bed of feathers. I’ll need to get back and check the nest out with a DSLR with a telephoto lens.
Backyard Winter Nature in New Jersey: Turkey Vulture and Using Focus Magic to Remove Motion Blur.
I often use Focus Magic to sharpen images. I prefer using this program since it uses a deconvolution algorithm to sharpen the image, rather than unsharp mask (USM). Here is an example where I used Focus Magic to remove motion blur. On the down side, Focus Magic has not been updated for some time and only runs as a 32-bit application. I can only use it as a plugin in Photoshop CS5 when running the 32-bit version of CS5. For this example I am using an image of a Turkey Vulture in flight (from four-years ago). I tried to improve the sharpness of the head, eye, and beak. The 2nd and 3rd image are 1:1 zooms of the head — first without removing the motion blur, and the second with the motion blur removed (350°, 9 pixels). The results are not perfect, but better than the original image. One of the reasons I do not delete images — new software can sometimes be used to recover and image that previously would have been rejected.
Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 3: Buenos Aires to Estancia Helsingfors.
We flew from Buenos Aires to El Calafete, where we met up with our driver Martin and his bus. The bus is our mode of transportation for the rest of the workshop. Martin drove us to Estancia Helsingfors, which is in the western region of Glaciers National Park along Lake Viedma. Helsingfors was built as a sheep ranch in 1906 by the Finnish Pioneer Alfred Ramstrom. We stay at Helsingfors four nights. On the drive from El Calafete to Helsingfors we stopped to several times to photograph the lake and wildlife. I’ve included images of the Southern Crested Caracara and Piche (the local armadillo).