Week 12 … #13 Starburst, Diving into the Holidays

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Brown Pelican diving at Anna Maria Island.

One of my favorite places to capture my favorite bird, the Pelican, is on Anna Maria Island.  Oftentimes there are many parents and juveniles, hunting and diving for food off one of the piers, as they were in the above image.  The juveniles are similar to the adults, but have a brown neck and head with a grayish bill.  I love watching their take offs and awkward landings.  Sadly, I noticed one juvenile had some fishing line flowing off his foot when in the air.  Not good.

I thought for the ‘Starburst’ challenge, I would cheat!  To shoot successful sun flares and starbursts, one needs to use a narrow aperture such as f/22 and for best effects, something physically blocking part of the sun, like the horizon or buildings or trees.  I have practiced a bit in the past but with the holidays upon me, I’ve had little time to get out and capture a starburst.  So …. as I said, I cheated.  I used a great iPhone app called LensLight which has a wide selection of interactive lights such as bokeh, lens flares, light leaks and sunbursts.  I don’t use it often, but on the few occasions, it can really pop an image.  I hope you think so too.

Happy Holidays, friends.

Week 6 … Theme # 17, Twilight

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Tromsø, Norway.

This beautiful, modern, graceful bridge joins the city of Tromsø, Norway, with numerous other islands.  Built in 1960, the Tromsø Bridge was the first cantilever bridge to be built in Norway and is typical of Norwegian bridges built high enough to allow big ships to pass under it, like the one I was on when I captured these images.  It was dusk and most folks had left the deck.  I remained and happened to spot this photographer capturing some last shots.  I loved the contrast of his red jacket with the blue twilight.

The surrounding mountains and ocean setting all made for some spectacular photos.

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Week 1 #1 Zoom Burst

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Sunset from my backyard.  Lakewood Ranch.

Well ….. here goes!  I had doubts when I decided to participate in the 52-Week Challenge.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to do a weekly theme post.  Back in 2011, I was recently retired and looking for a hobby, so I began a blog.  And in order to have good images, I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon 7000.  And then a lens, another lens and another lens.  You know how that goes.   Anyway, I was hooked!  I fell in love with photography, capturing moments of the world around me and sharing on my blog.  I was posting everyday, had some great followers and enjoying the experience …. until I wasn’t.  Creatively, I felt burned out and slowly stopped blogging routinely in 2015.

Two years ago, we moved from Philadelphia to Lakewood Ranch and I joined the Lakewood Ranch Digital Photography Club.  It has been a great experience with their monthly meetings, competitions, field trips and photo challenges.  Upon upgrading to a new Nikon 810 this year, this 52-Week Photo Challenge will be a useful vehicle for me to sharpen my photo skills as well as learn more about my camera.

Regarding the chosen image for this assignment, it took many many tries to figure out the best settings, light and zoom range.  Exposure was 1 second at f/18 handheld.

So, onward and upward!  Hope you join me on the journey!