Saturday, January 24, 2009

John Wayne The Penguin

A story for one of my photos:

At Grytviken, we were waiting for the zodiac taxi to get back to the ship. We spotted a single King penguin swaggering down the single road through the harbor.

It looked like the new sheriff was coming into town. The photographers froze in their tracks taking photos (myself included) and the seals just ignored it.

The bird just continued to strutt down the road, checking for outlaws. Stretching its neck, looking around, and then continuing to walk down the main (and only) road.


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Web Page Updates

Pretty well populated the site for the Antarctica Trip. ( I’ve gotten my notes and Photo Journal pages constructed. I’ve uploaded some of Joanne’s photos but am waiting for her to write her account of the great adventure. Then I populate her account with appropriate photographs.

I’ve got about 155 photos in my Flickr Photostream. And I geo-tagged a number of them. Hard to say where we were when we spent 2 days at sea.


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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Getting Back To Normal

Got back from Antarctica on Dec 7th. After a good deal of sleeping, started the process of recovering from a long trip. Stopped mail to be opened and handled, unpack and restock the pantry. And, of course, sort through the 1000 photos you took.

This trip had the disadvantage of being near Christmas. The Christmas card has to be selected and printed. And the Christmas letter has to be composed. Then mail out the cards. The first batch went out Monday (12/22).

One of the items I mentioned in the latter was that the photos would be posted on the web. Not the whole 1000 but my selects for the 100 most interesting. Of course, that means the web site had to be ready when the cards and letters went out.

I spent most of last week uploading 110 photos to Flickr. Then using that information to populate the Photo Journal and accent my written trip notes.

The mostly functional web site can be found at

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Friday, November 14, 2008

On The Road, Finally

In a little under 15 hours the great adventure begins. Flight out of Austin departs at 12:10pm. Thus beginning a 28.5 hour journey to Ushuaia. 11 hours of that journey is on the ground waiting for the next leg. A full 7.5 spent in Buenos Aires. Originally we were just 4 hours but the flights got rearranged.

Don’t know how much sight-seeing we will do in Buenos Aires. Mostly I have to transfer between airports, about a 1 hour bus trip. It will be Sunday morning but I’ve seen ugly traffic in Seole, who knows.

We get to Ushuaia about 8:30 pm on a Sunday night. They eat late in Argentina, so I suspect the hotel restaurant or something local will be open.

Coming back isn’t as bad, 25 hours but only 8 on the ground. Fly into EZE so I don’t have the bus transfer in Buenos Aires. We have about 4 hours in each major airport. Plenty of time to clear customs. The US is typically a little harder, but a welcome sight after one of these trips.

Blogging will be light to non-existent. Once on ship we don’t have internet access. So, the stories and pictures will have to wait until I get back

It does appear that Ushuaia boast two local breweries. So, the opportunities for local Argentinian Beer is very good.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Badgers Win!!!

Back from Wisconsin. Cool weather and a nice reminder to get ready for Antarctica.

Surprisingly enough, the Badgers won. They were 0-4 for conference play going in. I hadn't really expected them to win. Nice to see old friends though.

Not too many picture opportunities. We only took a few walks, because of the weather. I got a couple of nice leaves turning color photos. Posted them as Weekly Photos

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Less Than A Month To Go

Haven’t been blogging much. Still taking digital photos and have continued to post to the Weekly Photo. But my focus has been on other things.

I’m leaving for a week in Wisconsin on Thursday. Wisconsin Homeconing Game in Madison this coming week-end. The Badgers are having a terrible year so I expect the results won’t be happy.

I’m teaching two classes the week after I get back. That will be a drive to Houston, Nov 2nd and 4th. And then the big trip starts the 15th. A lot of preparation to do. I’ve been gathering bits and pieces since January, it’s down to to 3 or 4 things left. Probably go shopping in Wisconsin.

The DPS assignments have also continued. I’m still learning a lot about the Alpha. This latest week is supposed to be a portrait shot. I used a statue. What was more important, however, was the day was overcast (much as I expect Antarctic will be). I adjust the exposure and got some reasonable photos that didn’t require much adjustment in the computer.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Polarizing Filter

Spent last week getting ready for a class in Houston. We’d set the date 8 weeks ago. Then spent a nervous Fri and Sat waiting to see the results of Ike. I didn’t get confirmation that the classes were postponed until Sunday morning.

With that off the front burner I could go looking for a filter in earnest. I didn’t think finding one would be that tough. Had to go to downtown Austin to find one that fit my lens (49mm).

I’d done a little reading on the web. I needed a Circular Polarizer because of the digital camera. They have two plates. The first cuts reflected light, that’s the polarizer. The second plate sort of makes it scattered (circular) again so the polarizing sensors inside the camera don’t reject the light. That’s sort of the layman’s version.

Meanwhile, I had to relearn to watch the viewfinder when rotating the filter. My first attempt didn’t show much change. I shot from one position and took another shot with the filter rotated 90 degress. It wasn’t until 20 shots later that I came to realize the best position was 45 degrees.

The second day’s photo shoot I adjusted for best reduction first. Then tested 90 degrees off of that. The results weren’t spectacular, but the behavior was much better and in line with what I expected.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008


I guess the "third time's the charm." I visited Old Settlers Park on three separate days to get a photo of the windmill. I had been out at the park earlier to test depth of field and focus. Some experimental shots of the windmill showed blurring on the blades, because it was moderately windy.

Last Friday it was low winds, so I went out to try for some serious shots. I got lucky and actually had it stop a few times. Problem was they were all darker than I wanted. I should have upped the EV since the back ground was blue sky and clouds.

I got my Weekly Assignment shot for next week, so the trip wasn’t a total waste. A number of the shots didn’t have a blur giving me hope.

Went back Saturday because I had the day free. Joanne was at a quilt show. I boosted the EV two notches. The wind was puffy and didn’t cooperate. I liked the shots, until I got home and looked at actual pixels. Vanes were sharp but the spokes were blurred. The speed of rotation was definitely the culprit, everything else was sharp.

Sunday morning I usually go out for the Sunday paper. Took my camera and drove the extra 3 miles to the park. Light wind but some of the flags were drooping. If they’d been ripping off the poles I would have turned around.

Plus 0.7 EV, large format for extra cropping latitude, and a little patience for the wind to hold up occasionally (at least slow down). For an extra benefit, the wind was aiming the tail into the sun, so the sun lit up the Texas flag on the tail. Out of 14 taken, seven are pretty good. The others had very small distortions around the spokes.

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