When the Weather Outside is Frightful

Recently we have had a spell of cold and cloudy weather, followed by a cold and sunny spell, and then more cold drizzle. Nothing like north of here with ice and snow, but miserable just the same. Day after dark dreary day. Not conducive for photography, IMO. I was able to get out a bit with the new camera, but a lot of the time I spent watching TV (I am almost done with Fringe on Netflix!) and editing photos. These are all made with the new Sony RX10 camera. I am liking it a lot for everything except birds. On that subject, not enough testing.

Busy Bee ISO 100 1/800 f/4.0, focal length 200.0mm

Busy Bee

ISO 100 1/800 f/4.0, focal length 200.0mm

This was taken just before the cold spell. I was a bit surprised to see bees still active; these were very tiny ones. This camera will focus much closer (11 inches) while at maximum zoom. That isn't a problem at all for bees, but I haven't had the opportunity to try it out on dragonflies. I am thinking I may be carrying two cameras with me when I go out adventuring. Neither one is very heavy, the FZ200 weighs 1.2lbs, the new RX10 is 2.6 lbs. It doesn't seem to be twice as heavy...

Spooky Lovely Dead Crap ISO 800 1/1250 f/2.8, focal length 200.0mm Edited with Fractalius and Photoshop Oil Paint

Spooky Lovely Dead Crap

ISO 800 1/1250 f/2.8, focal length 200.0mm Edited with Fractalius and Photoshop Oil Paint

Lots of fall color to catch the light. You know by now this is called... Lovely Dead Crap for want of a better term. I took this on one of my first walk abouts shooting manually. It was in the shade with some sunlight just on the leaves. Shooting manually is mostly trial and error for me at this stage.

Sekrit Gate ISO 125 1/100 f/2.8 focal length 84.0mm Edited with HDR Efex Pro 2 Tone Mapping

Sekrit Gate

ISO 125 1/100 f/2.8 focal length 84.0mm Edited with HDR Efex Pro 2 Tone Mapping

I love gates and doors. Instagram has a huge following for this kind of photography with tags such as #doorsofdistinction. I found this treasure a few streets over from my house. Gates just fire up the imagination, what could be hidden through this portal?

Proofing this, I just noticed those stoopy curly light bulbs in the nice carriage lights on each side of the gate. CFLs may be energy savers, but they cast a horrible looking light, are difficult to dispose of and are exceedingly ugly.

Kitteh waiting for Santa ISO 400 1/200 f/2.8 focal length 200.0mm

Kitteh waiting for Santa

ISO 400 1/200 f/2.8 focal length 200.0mm

This wonderful kitteh was too wary to let me get very close. I missed the zoom of my old camera, but the crop came out OK I think. New camera's autofocus is vastly superior to FZ200 as it would have thought the branches in front were much more interesting than the cat.

Dreaming of the tropics ISO 640 1/200 f/2.8 focal length 200.0mm Edited with Topaz Simplify and Photoshop Oil Paint

Dreaming of the tropics

ISO 640 1/200 f/2.8 focal length 200.0mm Edited with Topaz Simplify and Photoshop Oil Paint

On my walk around the neighborhood, I found some plain dark blue berries with dull green leaves, perhaps a viburnum. Berries are challenging to photograph; it is hard to get all of them in focus with a short depth of field. These came out nicely, but dang; they were so dull.  So I had some fun making these look tropical.

I recently read an article by Micheal Trotten on his trip to Cuba and I think that is what got me into all these hot colors. Or maybe it was an over reaction to the gray, cold days outside. Check out that linked article when you have time; he has some really interesting things to say about Cuba and some nice photos as well. He is a journalist, usually reporting on the Middle East or war zones and he went to Cuba as a ... tourist.

Seed pods and leaves on Crepe Myrtle ISO 125 1/200 f/3.2 focal length 197.0mm Edited with Fractalius and Photoshop Oil Paint

Seed pods and leaves on Crepe Myrtle

ISO 125 1/200 f/3.2 focal length 197.0mm Edited with Fractalius and Photoshop Oil Paint

And here are some more bright and cheerful colors. This is a neighbor's Crepe Myrtle tree; my two are still changing from green to bright yellow. Some years here in the south we have very little fall color. The leaves seem to just turn brown and fall off, all at the same time. But, this year we had a couple of earlier cold snaps, which combined with the decreasing day length helps with the chemistry of producing those beautiful fall colors.

Mags in the middle of my bed ISO 1000 1/80 f/2.8 focal length 83.2mm

Mags in the middle of my bed

ISO 1000 1/80 f/2.8 focal length 83.2mm

So, until the weather changes I intend to follow Mags' example. Hang around the house, eat, take naps and dream of warmer days.

How are you doing with our winter blast? Do your prefer cold weather? Do you think I am a wimp for complaining about days with a high in the 40sF? And do you have an opinion on curly light bulbs? Or have you seen Fringe?

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