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Betty LaRue

Post a beautiful nature picture

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Very nice. Just wondering, what macro lens (or lens attachments) are you using with your Sony?

That one was just the long end of the 18-55 kit lens.

For closer stuff, an old 100mm process lens hot glued specially adapted to a set of BPM bellows that came with my Illumitran. Usually at f11 or 16. It's handy enough to use hand-held if you have a steady hand. That's a lot of hands. I can get up to about 130mm. of extension which is just over 1:1 on APS but the DOF is tiny of course. The lens goes AWOL below 16- really awful.

I had been using an enlarging lens but it had a focus shift when stopped down (pretty useless for enlarging but there you are). The process lens was one of a set my brother got at a market for next to nothing so I at least owe him a drink. It would adapt nicely to mirrorless I imagine. The 100mm. is about the size of a Leica prime lens but the others are huge.

Edited by spacecadet

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9 hours ago, spacecadet said:

That one was just the long end of the 18-55 kit lens.

For closer stuff, an old 100mm process lens hot glued specially adapted to a set of BPM bellows that came with my Illumitran. Usually at f11 or 16. It's handy enough to use hand-held if you have a steady hand. That's a lot of hands. I can get up to about 130mm. of extension which is just over 1:1 on APS but the DOF is tiny of course. The lens goes AWOL below 16- really awful.

I had been using an enlarging lens but it had a focus shift when stopped down (pretty useless for enlarging but there you are). The process lens was one of a set my brother got at a market for next to nothing so I at least owe him a drink. It would adapt nicely to mirrorless I imagine. The 100mm. is about the size of a Leica prime lens but the others are huge.

 

Thanks for the reply. It's amazing what you can do with a kit zoom. I have inexpensive extension tubes that I bought on ebay, plus a set of ancient HOYA screw-on closeup lenses that work fine if you don't stack them. Maybe one day I'll invest in a real macro lens.

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32 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Maybe one day I'll invest in a real macro lens.

Maybe, but in my case the process lens is designed for fairly short subject distances (though not that short!). The advent of mirrorless is supposed to have put up the second-hand price of classic glass up now you don't have to worry about flange focal depth anymore.

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13 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Maybe, but in my case the process lens is designed for fairly short subject distances (though not that short!). The advent of mirrorless is supposed to have put up the second-hand price of classic glass up now you don't have to worry about flange focal depth anymore.

 

I had to Google "flange focal depth", but that makes sense. 

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7 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I had to Google "flange focal depth", but that makes sense. 

Good job I didn't say FFD then.😀

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On 10/07/2020 at 04:17, chris_rabe said:

I keep forgetting that there are threads outside of "contributor experience". And now that I am no longer contributing on Shutterstock, I need to get more active on here.

 

One of my recently re-processed images. I'd love to get back to Costa Rica next year (or my bday in December), but not sure how realistic that is these days

 

2C67HEG.jpg


Costa Rica is lying about the number of Covid 19 deaths and is preparing to reopen for tourism sooner than later.  Nicaragua is also lying about the deaths, just not as much and three weeks late, and some tourist/retirement areas are already getting tired of the gringos who stayed.  My area is less dependent on tourism, and almost everyone is masking after a couple of recent local deaths.

 

I think Nicaragua has about 90% of the same species as Costa Rica (minus some higher altitude endemics) and has fewer of the "Mah freedoms won't allow me to wear a mask" types as Costa Rica. 

 

I can highly recommend El Jaguar Nature Reserve for birds and some of the smaller mammals and perhaps cougars (tracks mistaken for jaguars apparently).   Not sure when we'll be safe to visit, but if the Chinese or Russians produce a vaccine before the US, UK, or France, Nicaragua is likely to be a test bed for wider spread distribution. 

 

One of mine that I submitted as a single since I wasn't sure the motion blur would pass CC.  Taken at El Jaguar before the Virus.  Violet sabrewing hummingbird. 

2AHM15G.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Love seeing new-to-me birds.

MizBrown, lying seems to be prevalent about the virus. In the U.S. there are too many reports to be totally dismissed from family members about hospitals that are listing deaths as Covid-caused even if someone dies from something else. Maybe it’s because the hospitals get paid a certain amount from the government if the death is Covid related. Hmm. So Covid deaths are being inflated. I’d be interested to know if it is by a significant amount.

 

Right now, the largest age group of new infections in the U.S. is the 20-35 year olds, who, when stay-at-home was lifted, raced out to the bars, beaches and protests, and is the group that scorns masks more than other age groups. I heard on the news this morning about a brother and sister, both in their early 20s, who died from Covid. Young people suffer from the “Not Me” syndrome.
Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue

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Sounds like Mizbrown is saying that they are hiding Covid deaths, in Central America, in order to reopen the economy sooner.  I have not heard that U.S. hospitals are inflating the numbers for any reason.  I would be astonished to learn that the hospital where my daughter works is fudging the numbers.  There is a lot at stake to keep accurate data so we understand this novel coronavirus the best we can.  

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Love seeing new-to-me birds.

MizBrown, lying seems to be prevalent about the virus. In the U.S. there are too many reports to be totally dismissed from family members about hospitals that are listing deaths as Covid-caused even if someone dies from something else. Maybe it’s because the hospitals get paid a certain amount from the government if the death is Covid related. Hmm. So Covid deaths are being inflated. I’d be interested to know if it is by a significant amount.

 

Right now, the largest age group of new infections in the U.S. is the 20-35 year olds, who, when stay-at-home was lifted, raced out to the bars, beaches and protests, and is the group that scorns masks more than other age groups. I heard on the news this morning about a brother and sister, both in their early 20s, who died from Covid. Young people suffer from the “Not Me” syndrome.
Betty

 

We have the rumor spreaders who get "secret reports" from doctors who get information from patients they are "treating on line."  It's the opposite direction from the stories in the US of doctors falsely reporting deaths from other things as Covid 19.  One of the other Americans living here had a brother-in-law (Nicaraguan) who had several comorbidities and who had a heart attack at the hospital while talking to a kinswoman who is a doctor.  The death certificate read heart attack with several complicating factors (uncontrolled diabetes II, high blood pressure, obesity, and the Covid 19, which kicked him over the edge).  One Nicaraguan friend of a friend lost her mother and expects to lose her brother, who is hanging on in the local hospital (they've already bought his casket and dug the grave).

 

Nicaraguans are so used to propaganda that they weigh accounts on line from people they don't know with accounts from people they have known for years.   We all know that the Blue and White demonstrators weren't the "unarmed, peaceful demonstrators" that the US press tells people up there that the police were slaughtering (I heard enough gunfire in 2018 that if a quarter of it had been aimed, we'd have had more than five dead in my town).  So this one is "The government is lying about the number infected and dead" vs. "the opposition is trying to paint the government as more callous and cruel than it is."   The government is behind on reporting, but most people  know what's happening where they live and the more cases, the more everyone is wearing masks.

 

We had one idiot gringa whose husband was diagnosed from x-rays at a private hospital that charges $30K US to treat Covid 19 patients.  Neither of them could get tested at a private hospital and she refused to believe that he had Covid 19, and refused to send him to the public hospitals that are taking most of the cases (lots of Russian, Chinese, and Cuban help).  Pulse oximeters (I should photograph mine, I guess) are diagnostic; lung x-rays are diagnostic.  One of the things about Covid 19 is people can be quite deprived of oxygen without being short of breath.  The woman posted hat she didn't believe it was Covid 19, took him to a hotel and he died in the hotel room less than 24 hours later.  The diagnosis for the death was Covid 19.   She flew back to the US without quarantining for 14 days. 

 

People here are afraid that if they or a loved one has Covid 19, that they'll be taken away to quarantine.

 

I think that a lot of people die of something else with Covid 19 being the stressor that brings death sooner rather than later.   But I also think some people would rather believe what killed their family member couldn't possibly kill them, so they believe it was something else.  And people do die at home here more than they die at home in the US.  Health teams are trying to keep on top of community illnesses (as with checking the neighbors of the man who died next door to my British retired nurse friend).

 

The infection rate in households with one case seems to be 40%.  Other high risk situations are bars and mega churches.   The thing that causes spreading here are multi-generational households.  One of the people in the household with two serious cases and one fatality was a medical student whose program told its first year students not to wear masks.  He and the other students are now wearing masks (Vice President the Witch probably was told that to avoid lethal accidents, she should stop trying to stop mask wearing among government employees).

 

My British friend and I are doing what we can to stay safer.  My helper is building a house and borrowed my cordless drill for some of the work.  He's also helping my British friend.  We are supplying him with masks and green mangos.   He's currently living on what we're paying him and possibly whatever his wife can be doing while she tends their almost two year old child.

 

 

The hummingbirds here are quite amazing.    And my cat finds neutral saline (as suggested by my retired nurse friend) less painful than the solution the local vet recommended for cleaning her belly before I put the wound cream on it.

Edited by MizBrown

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5 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

Sounds like Mizbrown is saying that they are hiding Covid deaths, in Central America, in order to reopen the economy sooner.  I have not heard that U.S. hospitals are inflating the numbers for any reason.  I would be astonished to learn that the hospital where my daughter works is fudging the numbers.  There is a lot at stake to keep accurate data so we understand this novel coronavirus the best we can.  

 

Nicaragua simply can't shut down its economy.  Too many people work in the informal economy and earn money day by day.  What Nicaraguans are doing and were doing even before the Vice President Witch shut up is and was wearing masks and washing their hands, and socially isolating if they can afford to (my landlord is a doctor who told me when it hit Jinotega, he'd go up to his finca, which probably is self-supporting or close to it).   The street vendors who stop at my house are all wearing masks now and one even carries hand sanitizer. 

 

Hard call, but everyone is doing what they can.  The health department had a push after the first cases here to get as many people as possible vaccinated for the predicted seasonal flu and for pneumonia for those over 50.  

 

Only two places are highly dependent on tourism.  Neither are reporting a lot of cases.  The rest of Nicaragua has some tourism, but it's not all of the economy in my area and even less in places like Corinto and Chinandega.  Nicaragua raises about 80% of its food, and can probably go higher. 

 

Costa Rica is much more dependent on tourism, but they've just announced another shutdown of San Jose.   Honduras appears to be a basket case, and its president came down with the virus.  People in Honduras are fleeing over to Guatemala, which isn't that much better off. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

Nicaragua simply can't shut down its economy.  Too many people work in the informal economy and earn money day by day.  What Nicaraguans are doing and were doing even before the Vice President Witch shut up is and was wearing masks and washing their hands, and socially isolating if they can afford to (my landlord is a doctor who told me when it hit Jinotega, he'd go up to his finca, which probably is self-supporting or close to it).   The street vendors who stop at my house are all wearing masks now and one even carries hand sanitizer. 

 

Hard call, but everyone is doing what they can.  The health department had a push after the first cases here to get as many people as possible vaccinated for the predicted seasonal flu and for pneumonia for those over 50.  

 

Only two places are highly dependent on tourism.  Neither are reporting a lot of cases.  The rest of Nicaragua has some tourism, but it's not all of the economy in my area and even less in places like Corinto and Chinandega.  Nicaragua raises about 80% of its food, and can probably go higher. 

 

Costa Rica is much more dependent on tourism, but they've just announced another shutdown of San Jose.   Honduras appears to be a basket case, and its president came down with the virus.  People in Honduras are fleeing over to Guatemala, which isn't that much better off. 

I'm very concerned for you or anyone in the Americas south of the 49th. 

The other day OH had a college supervision Zoom meeting with a Floridian student who is back home and she, the Floridian, sounded, if not actually scared, at least very apprehensive because she feels she cannot rely on her leaders or even her healthcare system to protect her. Truly terrifying.

Please be as careful as you can.

Edited by spacecadet

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3 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I'm very concerned for you or anyone in the Americas south of the 49th. 

The other day OH had a college supervision Zoom meeting with a Floridian student who is back home and she, the Floridian, sounded, if not actually scared, at least very apprehensive because she feels she cannot rely on her leaders or even her healthcare system to protect her. Truly terrifying.

Please be as careful as you can.

 

If the local hospital is keeping someone alive on a vent who was expected to die, either he's a mean cuss who won't die for anyone on schedule, or the local hospital is doing a decent enough job of it.   I've seen videos posted of recovered patients being cheered by nurses and staff as they left various hospitals.   My British friend and I have been horrified by the hostility to masking that we've been reading about in the US.   Some of the younger people don't wear masks on the street, but don't fuss about putting on a  mask to go in a bank or store. 

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As this thread is in danger of getting political again, I'll post a couple of recent butterfly photos of mine. The first one is a purple emperor:

 

purple-emperor-butterfly-apatura-iris-puddling-on-a-wet-track-to-extract-minerals-in-late-june-uk-2C4CXKJ.jpg

 

This one is a dark green fritillary butterfly:

 

dark-green-fritillary-butterfly-speyeria-aglaja-uk-2C2RCJW.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)
On 11/07/2020 at 00:04, gvallee said:

a glass of wine in one hand, remote shutter release in the other hand.

Have you got your priorities right or what!

Edited by spacecadet

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55 minutes ago, VbFolly said:

As this thread is in danger of getting political again, I'll post a couple of recent butterfly photos of mine. The first one is a purple emperor:

 

purple-emperor-butterfly-apatura-iris-puddling-on-a-wet-track-to-extract-minerals-in-late-june-uk-2C4CXKJ.jpg

 

This one is a dark green fritillary butterfly:

 

dark-green-fritillary-butterfly-speyeria-aglaja-uk-2C2RCJW.jpg

 

These are beautiful. My flowers are now attracting butterflies. I’m hoping the monarchs find my butterfly weed to lay eggs on.

 

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3 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

These are beautiful. My flowers are now attracting butterflies. I’m hoping the monarchs find my butterfly weed to lay eggs on.

 

Thanks, Betty. I've never seen monarchs, but would love to. It's amazing how far they migrate. I hope you get lucky and have some laying eggs on your plants.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, VbFolly said:

Thanks, Betty. I've never seen monarchs, but would love to. It's amazing how far they migrate. I hope you get lucky and have some laying eggs on your plants.

I’m surprised someone hasn’t given them a start in the UK. Must be the climate, since ours fly over land to Mexico when the weather  turns to autumn.  Maybe there’s not a “highway” to warm weather in your part of the world. There are definite migratory paths they use here. I do know y’all have a butterfly that looks like our “Painted Lady”. They have to be kin.

 

G5M29H.jpg
B4HA41.jpg

Edited by Betty LaRue

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Posted (edited)

Some more  butterflies:

 

H802M3.jpg

 

Zebra Longwing -- range from Florida through at least Central America, on zinnia in the back yard of my first rental in Jinotega. 

 

 

 

RT6M38.jpg

 

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele) on a thistle blossom, Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive), Virginia, US

 

HGX6KJ.jpg

 

And a Monarch Butterly (Danaus plexippus) on  Milkweed flowers in Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, Virginia, US.  Wing is a bit dinged.  My experience with them in the East Coast was that they used updrafts from winds from the flatland hitting the Blue Ridge and used that the same way hang gliders did to get lift.  The other place I saw them was in coast California. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MizBrown
more information.
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Our painted lady butterflies migrate from North Africa all across Europe and into the UK, though I think this can take more than one generation. Your photos of painted ladies in the US do look very similar to ours, Betty. Monarchs are a very rare migrant to the UK, but have not become established here for some reason.

Lovely photos, Miz Brown. We don't have any species like your zebra longwing here. You're lucky to see those in your backyard!

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On 04/07/2020 at 12:24, Sally R said:

 

Well done for achieving this beautiful shot Alan, despite mosquitoes! It does indeed look like the kingfisher is perched on a fishing rod. I've read of some wildlife photographers spending hours partially submerged in lakes to get a low angle photo of a water bird.

 

There is a bird photographer here in Australia, Duade Paton, who has started posting his bird photography tips online. In case it is of interest, this is the page with his images:

https://www.photos.duadepaton.com/

 

...and this is a page with his photography tips:

https://www.duadepaton.com/

 

I've only watched one of his videos so far which is this one which I thought of looking at your kingfisher on a stick:

https://www.duadepaton.com/bird-photography-using-water-to-attract-birds-in-the-field-vlog-1/

Thanks for the links Sally! Duade's bird photography is so beautiful, watching the slide shows full screen on the computer is amazing. I love the pink robin, I had no idea there was such a bird.

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WE have migrant Painted Ladies here in England. This was taken locally.

John

BFANB5.jpg

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3 hours ago, Bella said:

Thanks for the links Sally! Duade's bird photography is so beautiful, watching the slide shows full screen on the computer is amazing. I love the pink robin, I had no idea there was such a bird.

 

You're welcome Bella. Yes Duade does a really good job of getting a really nice shallow depth of field so that all the attention is on the bird without distractions. I am trying to practice getting down lower to attain this nice depth of field. Lying on the ground seems to produce the best effect for birds that are also on the ground or on water. I think I will be taking a blanket down to a local lake soon to try this out. I've taken quite a few shots sitting down but not lying down for birds.

 

I was lucky to see a pink robin in Tasmania 6 years ago. I was actually doing landscape shots at the Tyenna River near Russell Falls. As there was reduced light in the rainforest I had the shutter open for periods of about 20-30 seconds. During one such exposure a pink robin appeared and danced all about in the camera frame. However, with the long exposure the quick moving robin doesn't appear at all. Also, with the wide angle lens he would have been tiny in the frame anyway. So I just enjoyed watching him flitting about, seeming to be observing me as much as I was observing him (I knew he was a male because of his pink colouring). I was really happy to see one as it was one of the things I was really hoping to do.

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On 11/07/2020 at 07:04, gvallee said:

We just spent a wonderful week bushcamping in a national park. Stunning scenery with waterfalls, plunge pools, campfires in the evening.

There was a termite mound less than 5m from our motorhome. Camera mounted on a tripod and pre-focused slightly to the back of the top of the mound, I was comfortably seated with a glass of wine in one hand, remote shutter release in the other hand. I spent hours photographing blue-faced honeyeaters and great bowerbirds landing and inter-acting/fighting/begging on and around it. 

 

A skinny dingo ventured in the campground, only to be mobbed by a crow. He had to retreat.

Needless to say, although the scenery was breathtaking, birds were the highlight of our stay.

 

2C6CMG3.jpg

 

I love your blue-faced honeyeater Gen. After our various descriptions above about being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects while trying to photograph birds, your glass of wine in one hand and remote in the other sounds idyllic and much more relaxing! I think I will try that one day 🙂

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I’m surprised someone hasn’t given them a start in the UK. Must be the climate, since ours fly over land to Mexico when the weather  turns to autumn.  Maybe there’s not a “highway” to warm weather in your part of the world. There are definite migratory paths they use here. I do know y’all have a butterfly that looks like our “Painted Lady”. They have to be kin.

 

In early fall the Monarchs pause on the north shore of Lake Ontario, where I live, before flying south across the 80 KL wide lake towards their wintering ground in Mexico.

They are easy to shoot and I have so many of them, that I have made a note to self to stop shooting Monarchs.

 

In a case of Müllerian Mimicry the Viceroy (top) closely resembles the Monarch (bottom).

 

I find that making a point, with two images in a single image, has more sales potential.
 

 

 

the-viceroy-butterfly-top-image-resemble

Edited by Bill Brooks
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, VbFolly said:

Monarchs are a very rare migrant to the UK, but have not become established here for some reason.

There are no native milkweeds (Asclepias sp) in the UK, so no food plants for the caterpillars.  There are a few garden varieties but they're not that commonly grown so the few transatlantic migrants or butterfly farm escapees never get established.

Edited by John Richmond
typo

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