4-19-15 Night Sky

Last evening I went outside to test the 7D Mark II on how it would do with some night sky photography. This is across the street from my house and the trees are lit up by a street lamp about a hundred feet away. I think the quality is pretty good compared to my 60D. Now that I know the 7D does a pretty good job I need to get to a more scenic location, with no clouds, and try photographing the milky way. I think the big star just above the trees is planet Jupiter.

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Here is the back of the blind I built. It’s about four feet tall and the back wall section is about three feet wide, the walls come apart, so if I wanted to move it I could easily disassemble it, they’re held together by carriage bolts and wingnuts. I decided to not put a roof on it, right now it’s just a piece of plywood temporarily set on top. The only reason the concrete blocks are on it is because the plywood was warped so I use the blocks to weigh it down and keep it flat. I stapled some tarpaper to the top plywood to keep it waterproof. The sides also have been watersealed so they’ll stay water resistant.

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This is the front to show the opening where I stick the lens through. I put some camo screening over the opening so it makes it easy to see through, because it’s brighter outside, it hides my movements somewhat. I just cut slits in the screen to allow the lens to get through. The first day I was sitting in the blind a chickadee landed on the end of the lens but it saw me through the screen and quickly flew off.

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Here’s what it looks like looking through the door with the camera set up and ready to shoot.

The first part of this post was written two years ago when I first built the blind, it’s been in my draft folder since and I had forgotten about it, so it’s been two years since I set it outside. The blind has worked well for me and a lot of the photos I’ve taken from inside have been posted on here. The only problem I’ve had is the siding did not fair well with the weather. I used luan plywood, luan is actually used as a floor underlayment, I used it because it was thin and light and I wanted to keep the weight down in case I needed to move it. I thought by waterproofing it, it would help with the weather but over time that didn’t prove to be true. After two years, there are things I realize I could do to improve the blind, so this summer I plan on building another and applying the modifications. This version cost less than 50 dollars to construct, I’m sure the next one will cost more since lumber has gone up in price and I plan on making it a little larger and  using a more durable plywood. I’ll take photos of the construction process.

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I visited Pineland Farms this past weekend and I must say their flower garden has a profusion of blooms. Every where you turn there are splashes of color.

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As you can see I tried isolating single or small groups of blossoms. For anyone who has never been there it’s worth the visit and a good place to practice your flower and close-up photography. I would say the garden area is at least an acre or more in size and the best part, it’s free to get in.

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Obviously these aren’t wildflowers and usually I try to keep photos I post more on the wild side but I had to show these and let folks know about the photo oppurtunities that are available in the area.

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This baby seal was on Willard Beach in Portland on Saturday and we almost walked into it before spotting it.  The mother wasn’t around but hopefully it wasn’t abandoned. The weather wasn’t very sunny so there weren’t too many people wandering about so the little guy wasn’t being harrassed and it seemed like all he wanted to do was nap. It was tough getting a photo with the eyes open and all I had with me was my point and shoot camera.