Tag Archive: northeast


Hi all!  I wanted to share some very exciting news with you.  I have been asked to write a blog for the local newspaper.  The Times Union has recruited me to write a Biker blog and share the biker lifestyle with you.

Please head over and check it out at the Times Union site and tell me what you think.   Let me first preface your trip with this:  The banner has the default text in it and I don’t have the controls to change it from my end.  So, I will be working to get that changed ASAP.

Thanks for stopping by!

Last night, a few members of the TCRPMG went to Washington Park to apply what they had learned in the Camera Basics 101 course led by John Iannelli.  I think it was a huge success.  While we were there, I couldn’t help but grab this shot of the statue in the fountain and the amazing sky he was facing.

From where I was standing, it looked like he was yelling to the heavens, perhaps asking for rain.  The texture of the sky made it even more appealing.  I was really happy that I had been there at that exact time.

At the meetup, we discussed how light affects how your image comes out.  We also discussed shutter speed and aperture.  The main components when used together can make some really amazing shots.

We found a nice flower and took pictures of it, with the goal of having a sharply focused main subject with a blurred background (bokeh effect).  It was a great exercise and I think the members really enjoyed learning how this effect was accomplished.

Yesterday began just as any other day usually does.  I got up, checked my email, my guest blog on Kristi Gustafson’s Times UnionOn The Edge‘ Blog  and then went out to check the garden and turn on the pool pump.  It was already getting hot, so I decided to mow the lawn.  I knew that we had plans later that night, so I wouldn’t be able to do it after it cooled down.  Today wasn’t looking more promising either.

So, I hop on the mower and cut the grass.  We have an acre, so it takes about an hour to cut it.  After I was done with the riding mower, I grabbed the push mower and did the areas I couldn’t get to with the rider.  When I was done with that, I was pretty hot and was sweating like crazy.  I came in the house and changed into my bathing suit, then headed out to the pool.

I dove off the diving board, and instantly felt much cooler.  As I swam to the shallow end of the pool, something caught my eye.  I looked again and saw a small animal in the skimmer.  At first I thought it was a chipmunk.  I got out of the pool and ripped the cover off the skimmer.  Then, I realized what it was.  It was a little baby bunny.  He was fighting for all he had against the suction of the skimmer.

I ran over to the pump and switched off the power so the suction would stop.  I didn’t know what he would do, so I didn’t just reach in and grab him.  I grabbed the wide mouth net and when he tried to hop up, I grabbed him in the net.  What happened next surprised me quite a bit.

Fresh out of the skimmer

I set the net down on the concrete in the shade, laid out so he could just hop out and be on his way.  He was obviously a little traumatized and out of it, so he stayed put.  I let him sit there for a few minutes while I ran inside and got Rose and some paper towels.  I picked him up and wrapped him in some paper towels.  He didn’t seem phased at all.  He just laid there.  Every now and then, I would check his sides to see if they were moving and he was still breathing.

We used what we had to give him water

As we sat there with him for an hour or two, he dried out and was still very mellow.  Rose would hold him in the paper towel, and if she moved it, he would re-position himself, so we knew he was getting a little better.  We kept him on the paper towel because he has some seriously sharp nails.  He started climbing up my chest at one point and it was a little painful.

After a few calls from friends in the veterinarian field and tons of people on Twitter giving us feedback, we put the bunny on the ground to see if he would hop away.  Eventually he did, but he started going towards the road.  I had to chase him down and catch him, which wasn’t an easy task, but refreshing, as he was moving quickly.

When I grabbed him, he made this crazy squealing noise that we hadn’t heard before.  I guess he was feeling better and that is a noise they make when they are scared.  I picked him up and took him to the other side of the yard where I released him into an overgrown area where we see lots of bunnies.  I hope he has a great life and stays away from the pool.

All dried out

When I started blogging back in January, I had two ideas in mind.  First, I wanted a blog that was about photography.  I wanted to share my love for photography with my readers, and offer help should they want it.  Second, I wanted to start doing product reviews.

From time to time, companies will send products to bloggers to let them test it out and write about them.  The logic behind this being that the blogger can get the word out about their product to many, many people with a real world opinion about the product.  It helps the company gain potential customers and gets the bloggers more traffic.

A few months ago, I started a second blog solely dedicated to product reviews.  I also post the reviews on this blog when I do them, but that blog will only have product reviews on it.  When I review a product, it goes on both sites.

I have only found a few companies so far to review products for, and would really like to find a few more.  So far, LowePro has been great about sending me camera bags to test and review.  I am trying to keep the focus of the blog to photography products, but will add motorcycle products as well.  Both genres play a huge part in my life, and I think I can bring a great deal of info to both markets.

Not only do I have my reader base, but I have Twitter and Facebook.  Along with them, I have 2,700 people that are members of The Product Review Place to share the information with.  So, the products would get a ton of exposure.  My reviews are posted on that site as well.

So, if you are a company that has a product that you need reviewed, please leave me a comment and I will get in touch with you about what we may be able to do for each other.  See ya soon!

*Image courtesy of Consolidated Freight Co.

Actually, it’s hot and I have some spices growing in the garden.  I wanted to give you all an update on the progress in the garden.  Things are really taking off, and I couldn’t be happier.  The basil and parsley are technically herbs, but that wouldn’t sound as catchy in the title.  Humor me, will ya?

With the extremely hot weather we are having, I am making sure that they are watered well, so they don’t wilt.  If you haven’t read this blog before, you should know that this is the first time I have planted a garden and (knock on wood) it is going much better than I had hoped.

There has been a slight learning curve, but all in all it is going well.  The peppers (red, yellow and cubanelle) are growing taller and I see a few small buds on a couple.  Hopefully, they will turn into delicious peppers in just a few short weeks.

The zucchini plant is getting huge and trying to take over the garden space.  I had no idea how big these things grew.  Next year, I will give it a lot more space.  I am afraid it might overshadow a few of the pepper plants around it and they might not get enough sunlight.  I have about 18 pepper plants, so losing one or two wont be a total disaster.

The tomato plants are really impressing me.  The have started to grow over the tops of the 33 inch cages I have around them.  On top of that, most (if not all) have at least one tiny tomato growing on them.  Some even have 5 or 6 green tomatoes growing.  I have a few different types to choose from when they are ripe.  I planted Big Boy, Early Girl, Jet Star, Roma, Cherry and Grape tomatoes.  If they grow and ripen, we will have more tomatoes than we know what to do with.

I guess I better learn a little about canning…

On this holiday weekend, let’s remember that it is about more than just another reason to get drunk.  It is the 234th anniversary of this great country of ours.  Have a great fourth of July and thank a veteran!  See ya soon!

If you’re anything like me, you must have thousands and thousands of pictures floating around on your hard drive, external(s) and DVDs.  Hopefully they are on externals and not just on your computer and not backed up.  If they aren’t, please go now.  Stop reading this and back up.

As I was reading this month’s edition of Digital Photo Pro, I started thinking about printing some pictures for galleries or personal use.  Then, I came up with a question for my readers  –

What photo service do you trust to print your photos?

There are tons of companies out there, and I have used a few of them.  There are a bunch that I have not tried yet.  I probably couldn’t come close to listing all of the companies out there, but I will list the bigger name companies that I do know of.  Please feel free to add any that you use.  I would also love it if you would list ones you don’t recommend so readers can not end up with bad prints.

Here are some I use and a little about them;

Shutterfly – I’ve been using them for many years.  They were one of the first companies I ever used.
Snapfish – Used them way back when.
Canvas On Demand – I had an amazing 16×20 canvas done by them.  You get it free when you sign up for a Pro Account.  Highly recommend them.
Local Ritz Camera – My local guy will color correct how I need it.  Great customer service in a pinch.
McGreevy’s – Local print shop in Albany.  I have never used them, but have heard great things about them.
Mpix – I haven’t used them much, but they are a great company from what I have heard.

Those are the main sites I know of or use.  Please feel free to share your experiences with these companies and add more.  See you soon!

On the way home from shooting at Five Rivers the other night, I just missed a storm that rolled through the area.

I got a call that it was pouring at home, so I hopped in the car and started heading home before it got to me out in the wild.  I could see by the wet roads and dripping trees that I had just missed it.  Not to far from home, I came across the scene above.  By the time I could get stopped in a place with a good view and get the camera ready, it was almost gone.

There was a double rainbow and a deep, dark sky.  The storm was moving over or just past downtown Albany.  I had missed it, but none of that mattered.  All that mattered was that I got to see this gorgeous scene.  It made a great day even better.

Yesterday, I had a few of the TCRPMG members join me for a trip to Five Rivers in Delmar, NY.  I have blogged about this place in the past, and each time I go, I find another reason to love it.

This time was no different.  We did our usual walk around the pond and I got some great shots.  As we were getting back to our starting point, one of the members spotted a turkey.  The turkey has 4 or 5 babies with it.  Being a wildlife preserve, the turkey and it’s babies did not seem phased that we were there and even walked within three feet of us while we were shooting them.

I had never seen a baby turkey before.  This was awesome!  I was so happy that we had come to that spot at that particular time.  Here are a few pics I took last night.