The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Tag: photos

Adventures in Bunnysitting

A week and a half ago, baby bunnies became part of the family when Mama Bunny lost her mind and created a nest next to the house within the fenced in backyard my dog uses as his personal Rest Area.

Maple Barn Photography: Bunnies &emdash;

We discovered the nest after Phantom discovered the nest, which was a Very Bad Thing. But three babies remained and we kept a close watch on the nest, wondering when they would be big enough to leave the nest so we wouldn’t have to supervise the dog.

I checked on them on Father’s Day, using a yardstick to move the covering so my smell wouldn’t be near them. I counted three that day. One night Phantom chased the mom across the yard, and I nearly had a heart attack. 

Yesterday, Michael and I were returning home from an errand and saw an adult rabbit had been killed by a car on a fairly busy street very close to ours. My heart sunk, because I just knew it was the mother. I had no proof, but I assumed that was the end of my not being involved.

A friend provinces a link to a website for dealing with sick and injured animals in Mass, and I called one of the numbers. I was referred to a 2nd person who gave us advise for determining if the mom had been to the nest to nurse at the regular dawn and dusk times. We put the string on top and prayed it would be disturbed by her when we checked it, but unfortunately, it was pretty clear she had missed the two feedings. 

I called back the woman [licensed by the state to] take in abandoned baby animals and arranged to drop off our bunnies. It was wonderful to see them out of the nest, and know this woman would release them in few weeks when they can survive on their own. She said we can come back to visit, so I plan to, with cash to cover their Timothy hay and formula bill. 

We also got to pet a baby possum and see the 8 woodchucks and 3 squirrels she’s currently fostering. God bless this lady and her animal-loving heart! 

I have a few videos for the past 1.5 weeks, including the handoff, at my photography website, Maple Barn Photo.

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Only an iPhone: Results

You know, it was okay just taking the iPhone to Disney. I was pretty happy to only have to carry the phone. Of course, iPhone batteries are not your friend when you’re away from a plug for 12-14 hours a day, so only having the iPhone for your camera and ALSO your phone AND your computer, means by dinner time you are in a panic over how long you can make 20% battery last.

Also, no zoom, no real image stabilization, no RAW data. But hey, rhinos!

Rhinos at rest

I loves me some elephant. (Another iPhone photo from the safari. I will add, this photo and the one of the rhinos were taken when the vehicle had stopped specifically to let us take photos. The animals were all out in force on Saturday.)

2013-01-26 13.46.19

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IPhone Only

I am going to Disney for a quick getaway , and I made a huge decision: I’m only taking my iPhone camera. No DSLR. No high-end point-and-shoot. I’m traveling light, and hoping I’ll forgive myself when I can’t take any long distance photos.

Not this time. I’m testing out traveling light. I’ve been down often enough (3 trips in the last 3 years) to have lots of great photos of my favorite animals, etc.

My best and most popular photo on Flickr was taken as Disney. It was an astounding combination of right place at the right time (the Red Sox broke the curse while I was on vacation). I can’t say for certain it was the equipment (my iPhone camera is higher res.)

After reading my friend Jamie’s write-up on her AMAZING photos (seriously) taken only with her phone , I figure why not.

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Maybe I’ll Live Elsewhere

I was thinking it might be nice to have a house on a mountaintop, but then I would have to hire a guy to run the lift to get to my fancy palace.

Attitash Summit Skyride

Which wouldn’t be too bad except during the winter we’d have all these pesky people hanging around trying to ski down my front lawn.

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Think Pink

I’m from Leominster MA. I’ve lived here almost all of my life – I was born one town away, but my permanent address for 94% of my life (I did the math, poorly, but you’ll have to trust me) has been here. And we are proud of two things around here; Johnny Appleseed and plastics. If we could combine the two, I think the town would implode. The plastic pink flamingo was invented here. Enough other people have written about Don Featherstone and his fabulous gift to the world, so you can check out the Wikipedia entries. I just want to share this photo of the one in my mom’s yard. Earlier today there was an Easter egg under it, which would have made for a better photo, but the kids grabbed it pretty quickly.

Pink

I’ve seen real flamingos, and they seem like they’d be kind of a pain to keep in the yard, what with their need to constantly feed on shrimp and stuff. Sure, my back yard is a bit swampy every time it rains, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only got mosquitoes and ticks out there. No shrimp. So the flamingos would just be really ticked off at me. I think it would be much easier to own this kind. I might have to help them stand after a windstorm, but other than that, they’d be pretty self-sufficient. I like that in a lawn decoration.

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Playing With an IR Filter

“Oh no,” the readers cried out in unison. “Not another photography post!”

Ah, yes, you’ll have so suffer, my children. This one will be fun, though. I picked up an infrared filter for my camera for $25 on Amazon, because it seems like a very cool toy. It’s not the easiest thing to play with, so these first attempts are me, attempting to learn how to take an IR photo. For one thing, you can’t see anything when then filter is in place, so you have to focus and THEN put the filter on. This means if you move the camera later, you have to remove the filter and refocus, etc. And even then, it might not be quite right. Also, you have to do a lot of post production on these photos because they come out violently red/magenta. It’s the nature of the filter. Lastly, if it’s windy like it was today, and your tripod is not very sturdy, your camera is going to move during the 5-30 second exposures you need to take to get the photos. Next time I’m going to try with a higher ISO so that I can use a shorter exposure time. We’ll see if that makes them a bit crisper.

Okay, so now that I’ve set your expectations into the cellar…

I stopped by Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster to take a few shots. The first shot is clear – no filter, to set white balance and focus. The shot after that is the IR photo, post-processing with some of the red left in for artistic purposes.

CLICK TO VIEW LARGER VERSION

Now, shot using the IR filter, 15 seconds at f/8, 35mm lens

The movement in the trees is due to the wind.
This next photo is a straight, no filter, no processing photo.

Here’s that photo converted to black and white. Looks pretty good, but lots of shadows.

This is the one with the filter – it shows a lot more of the details from the shadows, and I think it would look a lot better if the tripod wasn’t all blowy-aroundy.

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Flowers, Damn It!

There’s an interesting thing about going to Florida in January. They have flowers. THEY HAVE FLOWERS! They don’t have 10 feet of snow plow residue at every street corner. Not once did I have to scrape ANYTHING off the rental car. It’s like this place was build so that I could pretend it was spring for a few days. And I did. And now I am back.

There is nothing good about this winter’s weather. We’re due for 3-6 more inches Saturday. It’s gotten to the point where my reaction is “oh, only 3-6 inches,” said with the same tone I’d use if someone who regularly shot me with a nail gun was only going to hit me with a board. We are all destroyed. I have reached the “I don’t want to ever leave the house again” stage of winter.

Evening in Epcot

This picture was taken on Friday, January 29th. See the flowers? There were flowers. I want flowers!

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Upon Photographing My Son

It’s not unusual for me to take photos of my son. I have a lot of them. A LOT of them. I took one of him today picking up dog poop in the back yard.

I like to take pictures of him, I think because it is tied to my fear of loss and my hatred of growing older and my tendency to hoard things, including memories. Every snapshot captures a moment, and when I look at it later, I remember the circumstances under which I took the photo. Someone was angry and only pretended to smile for the camera and then later we had ice cream and that fixed everything. Or the last time we all went on an outing somewhere before the place closed and was torn down.

I may or may not have an irrational fear of losing things. Places, people, products. They discontinued my soap recently. It’s just one in a long line of products that have been taken away; my favorite flavor of Kool-Aid, my favorite jarred spaghetti sauce. A true hoarder would have had a case of the soap the hallway, so the loss might not be felt for a year or more. Me, I had one bar left when I found out. I’ll find something else that I like – maybe not as much, but it’s just soap. I will adjust to the loss of my soap.

I have two specific photos I’ve taken in my life that I would call morbid. One of was of my grandfather, in his casket. It didn’t occur to me that people didn’t take photos at funerals, but I was just a little kid, I owned a camera, and my parents said it was okay. All the flowers were so pretty; why wouldn’t you take a picture? But looking back, it is an odd photo. I remember taking it. I remember my grandmother looking at me, and me thinking she was checking to see if I was crying. My cousin was crying. I felt guilty because I wasn’t. All that comes back to me when I even think about that snapshot. The other morbid photo was one I took of my son when he was 15 months old. We were taking him in for surgery that morning, to get ear tubes to prevent the constant infections he’d had since he was born. Horribly common surgery for babies, but you have to sign all those papers that say you understand the risk, and any parent who doesn’t break out in a cold sweat signing those may need some kind of intervention. I took the photo the morning we were going in for the surgery. I couldn’t not take one. He was happy, in his red PJs and had bed-head. That’s how I would want to remember him; that this was how he looked, right up until the moment of whatever fate had in store for him (and us.)

Luckily, the surgery went fine, changed our lives for the better, and he just turned 13 last week. I still take his picture all the time. Some part of me just wants to capture all the memories so that I won’t forget, won’t ever forget. Places and people and products get taken away from me all the time, and I guess the only way I can fight back is to take pictures and store them on hard drives, DVDs, shoe boxes and in photo albums. I hoard memories, and if I take a picture of you, don’t get annoyed with me; I’m trying to hold on to you tightly the only way I know how.

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Ice Forms

I really think I might like hiking if it didn’t involve cold temperatures and uneven terrain. I think that’s why I enjoy walking around the mall. It’s everything hiking should be, plus Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and fresh squoze lemonade.

On the other hand, I went to Andre Sculpture Park up in Brookline NH and you get to see cool things like the first ice forming on the trail they call the quarry. Cool, right?

Actually, cold.

ice forms on the pond

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The Reward For Getting Up Early on a Saturday

I don’t like to get up early on a Saturday. Ever since they started showing cartoons 7 days a week, there’s been no need to set the alarm. So I haven’t. But yesterday I accidentally woke up at 6am and instead of rolling over, I decided to head out to see if I could take some sunrise photos. The sunrise and I are not close acquaintances, so you know, decided to impress it by not showering first. I did get the following photo (along with some others you can see on my flickr stream) so I think it was worth it. You?

November sunrise

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