Does “Goat’s Foot” have anything to do with it?

I think it was Bob Dylan who said “If I had known how long I was going to be around, I’d have taken better care of myself.”  Amen to that! If you’re going to roam around with cameras and camera bags around your neck, it sorta helps if you are in shape.  And at 73, I’m quickly finding out I am not.  Arthritis is loudly proclaiming itself to be in control  to the point of preventing me from straightening my right leg.  I’d been hobbling around popping ibuprofen tablets for a month or so when I finally decided it would be a good idea to finally find out if something was structurally wrong or if it was just arthritis.  A raft of X-rays confirmed arthritis to be in control of my knee joint.  A shot of cortisone got me back in the game. “Might fix it or it might not,” my doctor said, “But for now, you’re good to go.”  I’ll take what I can get.

I’d been wanting to get out into the field to grab a few shots of the sunrise now that the annual invasion of wild, reddish sour grass has taken over the fields.  It provides a smidgen of foreground interest in what would otherwise be a pretty empty scene. 

Nikon D750 Camera. Nikkor 24-120mm lens set at 24mm.

Somebody told me that the red grass is a variety of Bermuda Sorrel which supposedly is edible. An acid provides the sour taste.  Perhaps that’s why goats like to graze on it which tagged the grass with the name,  “Goat’s Foot.”   Not too appetizing, huh.  But given my state of mobility, I wondered if old goats develop arthritic knees.  And if not, does grazing on sour grass have something to do with it?   I’ll take my chances with the cortisone.  Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead.  See you next time.

Computer Glasses!

My recovery from neck and shoulder pain from spending too much time at the computer screen continued this week with a new pair of computer glasses.  If you wear bifocals and spend time at the computer with your chin and head tilted up in order to focus on the screen, you should think seriously about getting a pair.  I had a pair but the prescription was five years old and I had reverted to old habits.  My eye Doctor wrote me a new prescription for combination reading and computer glasses and almost immediately, my upper back and  neck which was as tight as an over-tuned snare drum, loosened up.  At the same time, I made it a point to get outside and away from the hinged box that has  held me hostage for so long.

 

Not a lot here other than the spectacular dawn but that alone was worth the walk out into the field.  Like the northeast, we’ve had a lot of weather here but no snow and ice; just a lot of wind, rain and thunderstorms. I also  spent quite a bit of time nosing around the azalea garden and an area we call Dogwood Dell; a large patch of wild dogwoods that seem to thrive in the acidic soil under the tall Lob Lolly pines.  The storms had taken a toll but there were plenty of blooms left to make it a worthwhile effort.

But the big spring show, which always comes early down here, is about done.  Not to worry! With the nutty weather we’ve been having, the azaleas will likely be blooming again early in the fall as they have for the past several years.  As always, thanks for the look-in and have a good week ahead. And remember: Computer glasses!

Surprise Spring

Is it real?  Nature seems to think the time is right.  A handful of 80 degree days has sent Eastern North Carolina into a frenzy of blooms.  From daffodils to Japanese Quince to Bradford Pear Blooms, the annual infusion of color is underway.

I used a 20 year old Nikon 70-210mm f/4-5.6 D lens on all of these shots.  The “D” lenses have no vibration reduction built into them but the auto focus is as fast as any lens Nikon makes today and obviously, it is very sharp.   BTW, The “D” means the lens communicates distance information to the camera in matrix metering mode. More proof you do not need to spend buckets of money to pick up a good lens. Happy Shooting.  See you next time.

Leaving The Top Off The Celestial Blender

Driving up the path to the top of the field that morning, it looked as though the Almighty was making a Strawberry Smoothie and left the top off the blender.  It was Spectacular!

Easily, the most stunning pre-dawn I have seen in the fields since I came here 16 years ago.  And that’s saying something since I am up for just about every sunrise year round.

Shot with a Nikon D800E and an 18-35mm lens and a Nikon D700 with a 20mm Prime. Spot metering, f/8 ISO 400. Thanks for looking and have a great week ahead. See you next time.

 

A Worthy Sub for the D750

I had noticed the fade in a corner of a frame of one of my shots with the Nikon D750,  along with what seemed to be a hint of some artifacts hidden in the light.  I thought nothing of it.  Most of my photography is done at sunrise and unwanted flares and other tricks of the light are pretty common.  Then came the news that Nikon wanted me to check the serial number on my camera to see if it was affected by what Nikon had deemed a faulty shutter.  It was.  I was strongly advised to pack up the camera and send it off to Nikon for the installation of a new shutter to fix the problem.  There is no charge and Nikon picks up the tab for shipping at both ends.  Off it went.

I moved the trusty 24-140 mm F4 G lens that lived on the 750 to the old warhorse, the D700.  I admit I had some concerns.  The 700 packs just over 12 megapixels, exactly half of the D750 but, in my perfectly unscientific opinion, it shines in its low light capabilities and its ability to blend the edges of objects into the prevailing tones to create what to me anyway is a very pleasing and artistic image.  I got everything ready for the next trek out into the fields here on the farm.


The D700 doesn’t lend itself too well to cropping in post,  thus, framing in the camera is a must.  But at the end of the day, The old D700 is setting itself up to be the F3 of the digital age.  It’s been around for a long time but it still takes marvelous pictures.  Thanks for the look and best wishes for a joyous, healthy, safe, and prosperous 2018.  See you next year!

The Soybean Field II

I spent several more days in the soybean field this past week, drawn by the pre-dawn sky which provides  a rather spectacular backdrop for, lets face it, a rather boring crop in the field.

The above shot was an afterthought.  I was heading back to the house when I happened to turn around and saw the rising sun’s reflection on the cloud bank rolling in from the north.  A reminder of the old photography tip to always turn around.

Taken early that morning from the southwest near the wetlands on the farm.  The rows of soybeans take your eye straight to the pre-sunrise sky.

I don’t usually venture out on overcast days but I made an exception because of the quilted clouds which I could see from my kitchen window.  I’m blessed by living near our farm fields and the beach, which I plan to return to next week.  Thanks for the look. See you next time.