Thursday, August 27, 2009

Manatee Crossing

Sorry for the non-posting of late. Life and work keeps intervening in my blog posting.

The creeks, streams, and rivers around here that flow into the Indian River Lagoon or Atlantic are wintering places for manatees.

With the incredible population boom comes a huge increase in people with powered boats.

With all of the boat propellers in the water, and the result is that the slow-moving, docile, and huge manatees pay an awful price for millions to enjoy their boats.

By far boats and the propellers are the biggest threat to the average manatee's life and health.

Many of the ones we've seen paddling around the areas waterways have hash mark scars on them from surviving an encounter with boat's motors.

The law is that you cannot go fast enough on these waterways to make a wake, mostly to help reduce manatee deaths by boats.

But I know people here who spend much time on the water that hate and ignore such rules.

The manatees are magnificent creatures and I always get a thrill out of seeing some in the local creeks.

I have some photos of our first-ever encounter with manatees after we moved to Florida in 1996 here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Black and White #36

This sea grape plant on the dunes here was almost killed in the hurricanes of 2004.

You can see a few leaves growing back, so it's trying hard to survive.

Now here's the color original. I wish I knew how to get different colors to stand out in black and white like they were in color.

See how the leaves are so different compared to the limbs? I'd like to figure out how to get that kind of tonal separation in the black and white versions in Photoshop Elements.

I tried the different color filters in Elements, because if I had actually shot black and white film, I could have used color filters to get the leaves to be tonally different than the limbs, but no success.

I just can't figure out how to do that "after the fact" with Elements.

I'll keep trying.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Seen At The Beach

Better thrown here than thrown down on the beach, right?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Looking West Down Our Street

We had just arrived home and after getting out of the car, I noticed the nice sunset.

You don't have to go to a special place to see great, colorful skies.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Under The Bridge

A bridge carrying US1 (highway) across Crane Creek in Melbourne, FL.

Decorated by local businesses.

A very photogenic marina in the background there too, which I was heading for when I snapped this.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another Great Sky Over Barnes and Noble's Parking Lot

This is the second time we've walked out of this Barnes and Noble in Melbourne to an amazing evening sky.

Well, sometimes you walk out of a store and there's a killer sunset.

Don't have time to move to a better location, the sun moves through it's own diameter in the sky in two minutes. No time.

So, you just do what you can where you are.

At least I had my camera with me.

I set a small aperture to try to keep the sun from "blooming" and stay round, so the ISO had to be cranked up. There's some noise here, but the noise on this camera is more like smooth film grain to me. Much more acceptable to have this type of noise than that on the ccd image sensor of my D70s at high ISO.