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Rails, originally uploaded by Roadduck99.

Every month or so, a different member of the First Light Camera Club gets to have a sampling of their work featured on the club web page. This month is my lucky month. A slide show of twelve of my photos, favorites of mine and my Flickr contacts, are currently on display. Follow the link above and click “Featured.” Then leave a comment below and tell me what you think!


Night Shift

Night Shift, originally uploaded by Roadduck99.

People are constantly trolling along flickr looking for photos to use on their websites. I know, I’ve done the same thing. Every once in awhile they’ll come across my photo stream and see something they like, and they’ll ask to use it. Usually they are looking to offer no more than photo credit.

A few of times in the past I’ve said OK. At first I was flattered, and then I justified giving away the rights with the thought that I wasn’t likely to actively market that particular photo anyway, so I’m not really sacrificing income.

What I discovered was that allowing use in return “photo credit” is basically just giving the image away. So when I recently received another solicitation, for the photo in question, I decided to ask for a little cash for the trouble. And much to my surprise, the folks agreed! So what you see here is the first photo that I have ever sold. May there be more in the future!

Rainbow Lake

Early Dark, originally uploaded by Roadduck99.

Before you know what serenity is, you must fly
In a small airplane
With canoes for feet
That takes you from deep in the forest
And carries you over a breathing map
With miles of trees and iridescent ponds
To deeper in the forest
Where no people are
Because the hike is too long
And the streams are too narrow

Before you know what serenity is
You must wake before dawn
And sit beneath the moon
Among the stars
And hear the drops from last night’s rain
Fall a second time
From the pine boughs
And listen to the loons greeting their friends
Who live on another pond
Miles away

(inspired by the Naomi Shihab Nye poem “Kindness“)

From on High

Moon Shots

Full Moon 2/18/11, originally uploaded by Roadduck99.

Since I got the Big Beercan lens, I’ve taken the opportunity to try to shoot the full moon. The first attempts didn’t go so well, but round two provided some good shots.

Maple tree branches are silhouetted in the moon

I recently wrote about what I have learned about shooting the moon in a recent piece at Examiner.com.

This morning I saw a sliver of the moon, so I thought I would give that a try. Not as good as the full moon. Perhaps I needed to kick up the ISO.

Crescent Moon at dawn

New Lens

Beercan up close: #39, originally uploaded by Roadduck99.

The other day I acquired second (third? fourth?)-hand a Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 75-300 mm 4.5-5.6 lens, aka the “Big Beercan.” This thing is a beast, made of metal and probably could double as a dumbbell.

This lens fills a great need for zoom, as the 18-55 mm kit lens only provides about 3x zoom. It’s also a macro lens, which will be nice for photographing birds at the bird feeder. (Or on the fence, as the case may be.)

It’s not the speediest lens with maximum f5.6 at full zoom. I tested it out at the Mt. Ararat vs. Lewiston vs. St. Dom swim meet at the Bowdoin pool on Friday night. The Sony exhibits some graininess at high ISO. But I’m OK with this, as I didn’t buy either the camera or the lens with sports photography in mind. Other than baseball, I suppose.

I had a moment of fear when my camera strap gave way under the weight of the lens, but fortunately I had a hood and a UV filter on the lens.  The UV filter was lost, and the lens got a couple of dings, but all is working properly.

Happy Solstice

Happy Solstice, originally uploaded by Roadduck99.

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I present a poem by Susan Cooper.

The Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.