Chimpanzee Forest Lodge, Kibale National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. HDR mode. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Equivalent ISO 125 @ f2.5 @ 1/60th. -1.3EV.
We will take a break, this winter Sunday, from our ongoing converge of the birds and nature of Costa Rica to bring you this special report from snowy southern Maine. We have not had all that much snow yet this winter and, to be honest, a nice gentle 8 inch fall is just what we needed to make the cold and damp feel worth it all. (It won’t last. A wintery mix is predicted for today, without much accumulation.) Still, I got out yesterday as far as Laudholm Farms to find a nice snowy scene. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Pixomator Photo and Apple Photos. Equivalent exposure: ISO 100 @ f5 @ 1/1000th.
This is looking across from the Little River Marsh overlook at Laudholm Farms toward the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, on a late fall day. iPhone SE with Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.
As I have mentioned before, the Batson River tumbles down over a short run of ledges at Emmon’s Preserve in Kennebunkport…there is not always enough water to make it interesting, but recent tropical storms and tropical storm remnants have made the ledges merry! I am not a fan of the whole silky water effect thing, when it is overdone, but I do like a bit of blur. Sony Rx10iv at 34mm equivalent. Program with HDR. Program shift for a slow shutter speed and Exposure Compensation to hold the highlights. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f16 @ 1/6th. -1.7 EV. Hand held.
I am falling behind…not because I am not posting every day, but because I am taking too many photos 🙂 Not a bad problem to have. Of course a string of rainy days might cure that, but for now, I am going to group this set taken at the same location on the same outing: I rode my trike out to Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains near home here in Maine, to see how spring was coming along. We have the Plains landscape on the way into the pond at 24mm equivalent (all with the Sony Rx10iv, this one with HDR, and the rest with my birds and wildlife modifications to Program), a Northern Water Snake (one of the largest I have ever seen) at 465mm, Dogwood in bloom against a stand of white birch at 24mm, two Painted Turtles sharing what appears to be a tender moment (but probably was not really) at 600mm, and Eastern Pine Elfin at 600mm and about 3 feet (this is a tiny butterfly, about 1/2 inch across). In leaner times I might have stretched this out over 5 posts, as each shot has an interest of its own. (I did already post the Elfin to some of the Butterfly groups on Facebook, but it belongs here too, in the context of the the visit to Day Brook Pond.)
Ever since borrowing a ZEISS 18mm equivalent lens for a trip to Europe many years ago, I have enjoyed the ultra-wide, not too wide, and definitely not fisheye, view of the 18mm. So, of course, one of my motivations for exploring photography with iPhone was the existence of many 18mm equivalent wide-angle clip on lenses. I have two, one of the ubiquitous cheap ones I bought as an example of the kind in a full lens kit for under $30, and then my Sirui which is rated among the best. Combined with in-camera (or in-phone) HDR the results are pleasing…if not comparable to my 18mm lens set on the Sony a6500. But then I did expect large sensor performance from the tiny phone sensor. This is the marsh down by the mouth of the Mousam River a few miles from my house. iPhone SE 2020 with Sirui 18mm lens. Vivid HDR extension in ProCamera. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Continuing with my adventure into phone photography, yesterday I was experimenting with the Sirui 60mm add-on portrait/short telephoto lens…mostly to see how it would work for dragonflies, butterflies, and flowers. This is Carol’s Valentine’s Day Calla Lily, by the light of a north window on a subdued day, using the Vivid HDR extension in the ProCamera app (but set to a “natural” rendering, not vivid). I am liking this lens on the iPhone SE. 🙂 My experimentation so far has convinced me that the Sirui lenses work better without a case on the phone…or as I have, you can modify the case so the area around the camera is bare. ProCamera gives me all the controls I am used to on my Sony. The only thing it lacks is user defined shooting modes (presets), so I am still looking at other photo apps. ProCamera also has extensive editing features…but I am finding it easier to AirDrop the photos to my iPad Pro where I can see them closer to full size and work on them in Polarr. iPhone SE 2020, Sirui 60mm lens, ProCamera Vivid HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Today marks a new photography adventure for me. I have decided to explore just how far you can push a phone camera in nature photography. This is my first attempt at serious phone photography with my modest iPhone SE 2020 and a Surui 18mm equivalent clip on lens. I used the ProCamera app to shoot and then process in HDR. I have a couple more Surui lenses to play with, and a small 50mm spotting scope for phonescoping on its way. We will see how this goes. This the forest across the road from our yard after Friday’s gentle snow. This new adventure needs a title, since I plan to chronicle my experiences on the web and maybe in at least an ebook. After long pondering, I think maybe “Nature Phone” will do. 🙂
Just to prove that my interest in natural ice formations goes beyond “swirly ice” (see last week’s post), here is a shot of the unique ice that forms where salt and fresh water mix in a tidal river. I have heard this called “rotten ice” but it deserves a better name, and “salt ice” works for me. 🙂 Little River at Laudholm Farms. Sony Rx10iv at about 300mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/1000th.
I am not sure this is what the author had in mind when he wrote “in the bleak mid-winter” (in fact the “snow on snow” line convinces me it is not), but this is the bleak mid-winter we are having in southern Maine. While I can no longer say I am a fan of cold temperatures…if we are going to have cold, even the relatively mild temperatures we have had in January, I would prefer to have a snowy landscape under blue skies…thank you very much. Of course my weather preferences hardly matter in the big scheme of things. 🙂 There is still a bleak beauty in this landscape…though more like the bleakness of early spring than mid-winter. This is the Mousam River marsh from the Kennebunk Land Trust Mousam River Santuary in Kennebunk. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.