Saturday, July 26, 2014

History - Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas

An isolated fort 70 miles away from nearest land, a place where everything had to be brought by ship. This fort was established to be a guardian for the young USA.

Fort Jefferson
The Dry Tortugas

Lower Archways of  Ft. Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, by DG Hudson

The cannon slots in the end wall are narrowed to keep out the enemy's cannonballs, but the range of the cannons firing was limited from those locations. Wide areas such as those above were more suited to moving of military equipment and supplies within the structure.

Parade Ground and Courtyard
circa 2006
Fort Jefferson marching grounds, black Lighthouse on right, by DG Hudson


Two level archways in the rainy mist overlook deserted grounds at Fort Jefferson. Park employees live here for several weeks at a time to assist with tour information and oversee repairs and restoration. Hurricanes and storms have caused damage to the fort as recently as 2004.

Fort Jefferson, The Dry Tortugas, by DG Hudson

Fort Jefferson Moat

From this point of view, the fort does look like the prison that it was. High walls, small windows and a place for security guards to observe on the upper level. But where would any escapees go without a boat?

Fort Jefferson Moat, Dry Tortugas Nat'l Park by DG Hudson


Do you like to explore historical locations? Have you ever 'motored' south of Miami to Key West? Do you take adventure tours to offshore spots like the Dry Tortugas?

Please leave a comment to let me know you dropped by, and I'll respond. I'm blogging slower through the month of August, but I will post when I can.



Wiki on the Dry Tortugas

For more blog information on Fort Jefferson refer to a previous post
Key West, Florida - A Vacation to Remember

More Fort Jefferson,_Florida


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Photography - Capturing Animal and Bird Images

Frame, check focus and click. That's it. Take another image at a different angle, repeat. Before digital, photo bracketing helped ensure the photographer had several different light levels and poses. Taking several images of the subject will give you better photos if you change position or lighting in each. There are some things to be aware of while photographing--background, positioning of the subject, and point of view or angle of the camera. Here are some examples.



This stallion's portrait was taken for the owner of the horse. He was in the process of training Scrape, since the young horse had a knack of getting himself into scrapes. . .  He's relaxed in this photo, because he's at home in his own corral, that's part of the fencing you see in the background. The natural setting keeps the image uncluttered.

'Scrape', Willie's horse, by DG Hudson



Viewpoint can present an entirely different look, so try an overhead shot of the subjects. In this case, ducks indigenous to the Lower Mainland are feeding. Feather patterns and coloring become prominent. Centering the ducks is a great way to frame a motley group. Click quick as these subjects are very mobile.

Ducks by Neens; printed by permission 2014, DGH

Ducks are sociable, especially when food is being shared. These mallards and females stop long enough to pose. Framing this shot close to the action (duck-level) gives an immediacy to the viewer. The effusive color of the heads, bills and feet brightens the image. For professional use, you may want to crop out the human element, highlighting the main subject.

Mallards and Friends, by Neens; printed by permission 2014. DGH


In the photo shown below, the bird has been framed slightly off-center so the Sandhill Crane is prominent and the mallard is in the background. This photo is landscape oriented; use the portrait orientation if the subject is tall. Be quick when photographing nature. Try not to disturb them if they are feeding.  

I accidentally created a fantastic 'ducks in flight shot' by opening an automatic umbrella at our local lake, also a city bird sanctuary. A beautiful-to-humans, heart-stopping-to-ducks flutter arose at that end of the lake. I felt guilty scaring the ducks as the umbrella opened with a Whoosh! I felt even worse that I was holding the umbrella instead of my camera.

The images of waterfowl in the last three photos were taken by photographer Neens at a bird sanctuary in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, B.C. Information follows.

Sandhill Crane, by Neens; printed by permission 2014, DGH

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, is a protected area in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. This is a suburb of Vancouver and part of the estuary of the Fraser River. It is also a Site of Hemispheric Importance as designated by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. (Wiki)


Do you visit bird sanctuary or animal preserves? Are there any in the area where you live? Do you look for nature shots on your runs/walks? Have you had your vacation time?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.



Photo credit: Waterfowl photos printed by permission of Neens, the owner of these images.
Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Wiki