The Rest of the Story and Flower Friday

Yesterday I posted a picture of me back in 1989 while stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii and serving in the Army. While the pic looks like I’m at some southern pride rally the truth is we were acting as the OPFOR (Opposing Forces) for a training excercise. We needed a bright coloured flag to mark our position at our headquarters hence the stars and bars. Another group used old glory for their flag.

Me personally, I think the flag is part of history. I know to some its a symbol of haterd and racism but then the swastika was originally a symbol of peace but because of Hitler its now a symbol of hate. What about the hammer and cycle of the former U.S.S.R ? Stalin killed hundreds of thousands of people and what about the rising sun flag of the Imperial military forces of Japan, I’m prettyy sure the people of China did’nt like that flag in the late 30’s to mid 40’s. And latest the black flag of ISIS I don’t think too many people will be collecting that flag.
Lets not forget while people associate the Stars and Bars with slavery and hatred there were slaves long before the civil war like 90-100 years before the war, what if the south had used a pink flag with a bunny on it? pretty silly, isn’t it?. 🙂

Have a great weekend… Ed

And to brighten things up a bit, my Flower Friday pic for this week from yesterday in Oklahoma.


What Does This Picture Say?

I’ll welcome all comments, especially the negative ones and I won’t delete them. Yep, thats me way back in the day posing with an M12A2 assault rifle and kneeling in front of a Confederate Battle Flag. Does this mean I’m an evil, racist person because I am with a flag? Tell me what ya’ll think and I’ll give you the rest of the story tomorrow…

Sorry the pic is really old and done with a Kodak instamatic.


U.S.S. Drum Part II

On Tuesday I did a simple pic of this beautiful WW2 Submarine at the Battleship park in Mobile Alabama, now for the rest of the story and pics.

Picture in your mind, its WW2 and you are on the Drum on patrol in the pacific and hunting the enemy spending most of the time submerged and breathing regenerated air and wondering when and if you will be discovered by Japanese destroyers armed with depth charges. The first thing you would have to get used to are the smells, unwashed bodies and feet, the various gases and diesel fumes. Then there are the sounds, mumbling of sailors, the pings and dings of the pressure created and buckling of the metal plates and various other sounds that accompany living in cramped quarters. Most of the time its very tedious and boring but then the sonar pings indicate a ship on the horizon and the captain takes the boat up to 20 feet below the surface for a quick look through the periscope. 3000 meters away a Jap transport ship is making its way some destination not knowing death lurks so close. Deciding to engage the Captain orders the forward tubes to load 2 Mk4 torpedos and wait for the order to fire, the boat closes the gap. Now only 1000 meters and the order is given to fire and the Captain sets his stopwatch, time to impact if a hit should be only a few seconds……… Boom! After a short wait the Captain raises the boat to the surface to record the damage, its total. The Cargo ship was hauling Ammunition for the Japanese Army. The Drum records its 3rd kill of this patrol, just another day for the crew, mission accomplished.




















Sunday Stills: Games

Mostly I play games on my laptop and for cranial stimulation I like Trivial Pursuit on my I-Pod. I did find some updated old games like Operation, when i played it it just had a buzzer and the the nose lit up when you made a mistake, now it had sounds and voices. and Trouble had a cool box cover to attract the kids, kind of silly. With computers and gaming consoles like Playstation and XBox board ganes are going away, I did see the Jersey Shore board game at a wall mart a couple of weeks ago and thought thats the end of games as we know them…..

IMG_2126Mt favorite game/ time consumer..Warhammer 40K

IMG_2132Trivial Pursuit on my I-Pod

And a mishmash of other games…..







An Unexpected Surprise

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and excuse a few typos its 2 a.m. and I’m on an offramp in Indiana typing this.
On my last day in Illinois I decided to take the morning before meeting my dad for lunch and try one last run in Busey woods for a few bug and amphibian shots. It was overcast and it had just finished raining but it was cool and I kept the camera covered between the raindrops that still fell here and there. I made my way around the area set aside for the prairie reclimation project with lots of grasses and wildflowers and then I decided to head into the woods for a bit of bird/bug shots, after crossing the river I turned to the first trail, an undeveloped trail that heads into the deeper side of the woods and not 10 ft onto the trail I saw them, just a flash of brown in the emerald green of the woods, 3 deer. I’ve been playing in these woods for 35 years and I never saw more than one deer and that was a long time ago, so this was something special for me. I froze in place not wanting to spook them as they foraged in the woods for tasty morsels. I stood transfixed at they saw me but did’nt seem to care. I watched for a while judging the light and cloudcover trying to set the camera for the dark woods. My camera is not dark friendly so I had to make alot of adjustments on the fly, but I finally got the settings right. It was like I was in a dream, one big buck and two does. Then out of the corner of my eye 2 more does and a young buck crossed the trail right in front of me not 20 feet away, they gave me the wary look and kept going to join the rest, it was too cool!

So after watching the herd for a while I decided to leave them alone and continue my hike, besides the mosquitos were eating me alive! I crossed over to the north side of the woods and followed the boardwalk trail to a side trail which leads to a small bridge where I get alot of good dragonfly pics when I see a doe staring right at me not 30 feet off the trail, I just shot about 150 pics of deer so I did’nt bother her and continued to the side trail. I got there and decided to set the tripod down and take a break and turned my hear to the left and was staring right at 2 fawns in the underbrush not 10 feet away! My heart stopped, I froze, not wanting to spook them I moved very slowly but the one just looked right at me and continued to chew something and I think he/she was more intrigued by me than I was of it. I turned the camera and just started taking pics, its sibling did’nt even turn to look at me. I spent a few minutes and moved on beacuse I did’nt want to draw attention to them from other hikers and loud kids.

The rest of the hike to the bridge and pond was a bust, the dragonflies just were not there, bummer, but the deer made it all worth the trip, until I had to take a leak in the woods, BIG mistake, ever get a mosquito bite on your privates? Not fun.. Well I hope ya’ll enjoyed this long post, probably the longest one I have ever done. Have a great weekend..:-)))

A short trip to Equinox Farm

I have to say meeting Sarah was one of the high points of my year. The farm is totally cool with all the aminals you would expect and a whole lot of sheep, then again when wool is your life… I got to meet the whole gang including Hank the wonder dog, Keebs and Grahm are sooo big and Grahm is a total pig when it comes to getting his and every one elses share of nilla wafers..:-)
According to Sarah there had been a drought and of course as soon as we got to the farm the sky opened up and Sarah thinks I brought the rain, cie la vie. I hope I can get back there one day to meet Marcel, the latest addition to the family. Thanks Sarah for one cool stop on my road trip/vacation. My dad loved the farm and I think he wanted to take Comby home with him..:-)
I put up a couple extra pics on my flicker page too..

Sunday Stills: The Best of 09′

This was real hard for me since I shoot thousands of pics throughout the year but I somehow managed to pic my 2 favorite shots, since I am primarily a nature photographer my first shot is of a Black Bear and her cub in Cades Cove Tennessee. I had been going there for a couple of years and never saw a bear, but on this day I saw at least 5 and I went into hyper mode with the camera. The second is my first serious Macro shoot on the Tellico River when I found this little clump of mushrooms and spent a couple of hours lying prone in the dirt and mud as I shot up close and personal with the shrooms. This sent me on a journey of macro photography that I love. So there you have it and here they are and here is to another year of up close and long range shooting..:-)

A Female Black Bear and her cub in Cades Cove National park taken in may 2009.

And my shrooms taken on the Tellico River in Tellico Plains Tennessee in September of 09′ my first serious macro shoot.
Have a great week…Ed

Anatomy of a Macro Shot: The P-47D

Since I’m bored silly and am still having fun playing with my plane I figured I’d show how I got the shots of the P-47D.
First to show scale I’m holding it in the palm of my hand, its only about 2 inches long.
Then after putting a wire into a hole in the bottom of the plane I held it at arms length to get the pic. After that I used a blending brush to remove the wire from the pic and WALLAH!!!
The finished pic, which I’m really happy with. I have to admit now I’m on the lookout for more fun things to shoot, and I have found a new micro toy which will be fun to shoot when I next find some mushrooms to photograph…:-))
See ya’ll tomorrow for Sunday Stills…Ed

Lightning Photography 101

I had a bunch of requests yesterday for techniques on lightning photography. Well, here it is in a nutshell. First, find a lightning storm. Then you need a comera with an adjustable shutter speed setting. I use manual mode and set the shutterspeed to 30 seconds and the ISO to 100 for less noise, I use an f-5.6 tp f-22. If you can, set the camera to manual focus and set for the farthest focal setting. Oh yeah, you need a tri-pod for this. So with the settings all set just shoot the shot and wait for the lightning to pop and depress the shutter to stop the exposure and repeat as often as you can, and compose the shot as the storm passes. Its pretty easy and just takes a bit of luck and practice. The shot I’m posting from Rawlins Wyoming was my first lightning pic, I was so happy!!! The second from Everwood Texas shows my favorite lightning, cloud to cloud, you could almost taste the ozone…:-)

A Couple hours of Birding

After I got loaded in Port Arthur Texas yesterday I decided to take a walk and explore an area of marsh I saw on the way in. To my supries and delight it was a nesting area for more birds than I could count. Herons, Cormorants and Rosate Spoonbills nesting in trees, Egrets and Ibisis wading in the water under the watchful eyes of a few Alligators. I was having a blast!!! Well after shooting 700 pics I ended up keeping over 100+ and am posting a couple here and the rest on Flicker (see side bar) and just click on a pic to get there. Also there was alot of Lantana and the air was thick with the fragrance, really nice….
Well I gotta get driving, Hava great day…..Edalligator-and-egretrosate-spoonbill