Critique Connie's (Clix Pix) 52 Week Project 2020 -- Week 43

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  • #304
Week 35! This one seems to be all about the water birds, with the exception of my friend the Crow, who popped in for a visit. The majority of the images feature that partly-submerged log that everybody seemed to like, from turtles to Alfred....and of course I liked it because it gave me an opportunity to shoot either from my deck or from the boardwalk. Unfortunately, the last storm we had seems to have caused the log to totally submerge or to shift somehow and possibly it is now relocated in the lake. I haven't been down to the boardwalk yet for a closer look but I definitely cannot see it from my deck any more.

I caught this delightful expression when I was shooting the crow, who was standing on the top railing of the deck and I was slightly below him from my vantage point in the house:

"Whaddya mean I can't grab your birdseed?"
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I was delighted when Alfred decided to hang out on the log for a while. I've decided he may actually be a juvie or adolescent rather than a mature GBH, since he still has so much brown and doesn't have the long, cream-and-grey plus blue feathery look that most matures do....
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That same afternoon the young adolescent Mallard duck decided that he, too, wanted to be on the log and that there was plenty of room for both of them. Alfred didn't seem to object and just ignored him:
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The young cormorant, whom I've nicknamed "Morrey," also loved the log, but I caught a nice view of him swimming, as well:
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I was startled one afternoon to realize that we actually have TWO cormorants on the lake! The new guy is obviously older than Morrey, as he is larger and also is showing more of the characteristic appearance of a crested cormorant as his coloring slowly shifts to the adult appearance. Fun to see and shoot the two of them together!
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One of my favorite shots from this past week: that feisty little duck gazing into the lake from his position on the log:
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Why, everything's just ducky around the lake, thank you!
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  • #306
Thank you! A couple of days ago I saw that the crow has a mate! Whether or not it's a brother or sister or spouse I can't tell, as they look alike, but it was interesting seeing the two of them standing on my deck railing!

This has been a great summer for photographing the waterfowl and other wildlife around here, that's for sure. It's been especially convenient when I can shoot right from my deck, don't even need to go out walking around in the heat and humidity! I will miss that partly-submerged log, and I imagine the water gang does, too.....
 
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  • #307
Time to share Week 36! I was busy with various projects around the house earlier in the week and really didn't get to shoot as much as I normally do, but towards the end of the week had a couple of days where I could relax with the camera....

One day when I went out to the kitchen to retrieve something I glanced out the window and saw Alfred walking around on the pier. Dropped what I was doing and ran for the RX10, which was on a nearby table, and rushed out to the deck. By this time he'd moved to the deck of the community clubhouse. Studying him through the EVF I could see that he was about to get up on the railing, so I was ready and shot the entire sequence. In this image, he has more-or-less just landed up there and is still balancing himself:

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Another day I played around with something just to see what would happen looking through the glass darkly:

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To my surprise, one day I saw that the partly-submerged log has resurfaced -- storms and wind have (temporarily?) relocated it to an area between my building/deck and the pier. Cool! Now I'll have a front-row seat (well, upper-tier balcony) view of any of my little aquatic friends and birds who decide to hang out there! So far Alfred and the other water birds have not discovered this yet, but one of the turtles has, and a fellow turtle came along to join him there, but had a bit of a struggle getting up on the log:

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Another time, just the solitary turtle on the log, but he had a few finny friends nearby under the water:

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One of the lenses I've been lusting after hasn't been available for a while; it was on backorder everywhere. To my delight it finally became available again this past week and so I now am a happy user of the intriguing 100mm STF lens! "STF" stands for "Smooth Trans Focus," and can be used as a sort of macro with close-focusing or out to infinity. The STF comes into play by creating amazing bokeh, which is great for use in shooting portraits or in shooting macros of say, flowers or plants..... I've only had the lens a couple days and am still in the getting-to-know-you phase, where I'm learning just how to take best advantage of what this unique lens has to offer.

We've still got a few Black-eyed Susans around, but they are gradually dying off as time goes on. One of the survivors, with a little visitor:

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All that's left on this once-cheery flower is the Black "eye" and a few leaves:

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For some reason when looking at this flower I keep hearing the song "Purple Rain" floating around in my head:

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  • #309
Thank you, Terri! I love being able to capture images of the wildlife around here. Yes, I am very fortunate to live here in this pretty little lakeside community! After my husband died in 1989 I remained in our townhouse for a few years, but then it began to feel a little too big for just me, and I casually started looking around at condominium apartments. One day I discovered this group of condominium buildings on a small lake and that was that -- I knew I wanted to live here. Sold the townhouse, bought this two-bedroom lakefront condo unit, and have been very happy being able to see the water each day and the variety of wildlife with whom we share this delightful environment. It's really not a lake, it's actually a four-acre stormwater retention pond, but the builders gave it a lake name and so we all refer to it as "the lake." Too small for boating and not clean enough for swimming ( we have a community pool for that), but it definitely is scenic and appealing to both people and furred, feathered and finny creatures.
 
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  • #311
Thanks, Nick! I was just looking at your images from this past week, too! It's hard to believe that summer really is winding down, and I have been so enjoying being able to capture flowers and the wildlife, etc. -- once winter really sets in I'll probably be back to doing more indoors activity, shooting abstracts and tabletops again. After that hot summer, we are finally starting to cool off a bit, and I am already looking ahead to when the leaves start to turn.....some years we've had spectacular color, and other years not so much so. Here's hoping for a colorful fall!
 
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  • #312
Week 37 ready to go. No birds this time! I didn't get out shooting as frequently as I often do, still busy with projects in the house and we had a few days of icky weather, too, but nonetheless I did manage to capture a few images along the way...

Even though we are heading into autumn, we have still been warm enough to have pretty flowers in bloom around the neighborhood:

Creamy White Rose.jpeg
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On the patio of one of the units in a building further down from mine I saw these amazing, huge plants and of course had to take a few shots; when I got back home I looked in Google and found that they are Elephant Ear plants, and I can certainly say they are well-named! I could've wrapped myself up in one of these huge leaves!

Elephant Ear Leaf.jpeg
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In my wanderings one sunny afternoon early in the week, my attention was captured by the shadows of leaves on this tree which was sheltering an inviting bench:

Bench Under a Peaceful Tree With Leafy Shadows.jpeg
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In that same area there is an iron gate serving as pedestrian access to that gated community, and I daresay that gate is ready for a fresh paint job! The gate and accompanying fencing is supposed to be black..... I also was struck by the results I got with my new lens, a distinctive contrast between the sharpness of the subject and the wonderful bokeh of the grassy area behind it.

Final Image Iron Gate.jpeg
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More flowers, and I don't know what these are but was intrigued by their shape. They look almost like small lilies, but I know they aren't lilies since lilies don't usually grow in clusters like this.

White Star-Shaped Flowers.jpeg
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Shadows again, this time on the posts along the boardwalk:

Roped Up.jpeg
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One day this caught my eye as the light was hitting it just right, and so I grabbed the iPhone, which was closest at hand for a quick shot:

Effects of Aging.jpeg
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Twilight was just starting to set in and one of the lamps on the pier was already lit; I liked what I was seeing reflected in the water:

Lamp on the Pier Reflected in Lake.jpeg
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  • #315
Week 38! This year is going by quickly, isn't it?

Starting off with Alfred, the lovely GBH, who was on the hunt. His feathers are all wet because he'd just been submerged in the water in hopes of snagging some lunch, and missed out.

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While I was shooting Alfred, one of the cormorants suddenly popped into view, having had better luck than Alfred when grabbing some lunch:

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Another time, I was surprised to see that we actually have three cormorants in the lake, not just two! The three amigos swam around together for a while, keeping appropriate social distance:

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One afternoon as I was starting out on a walk around the lake, I saw one of the sparrows who has been partaking of the hospitality of my deck also enjoying a change of scene on one of the posts along the boardwalk:

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Speaking of enjoying the treats on the deck, here's my buddy Smaug contemplating the spread just before he dives in:

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Back to those three cormorants: one of them was really feeling frisky and there was lots of wing-flapping and displaying. His two buddies pointedly ignored all the showing-off:

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And, last, but certainly not least -- my favorite shot of the week: Alfred taking flight!

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  • #317
Thanks, Nick! Yeah, Alfred's my boy, I just am so fascinated by him! I love watching him and photographing him. I was so tickled when I actually managed to capture a short series of him suddenly taking flight -- at last, a couple of decent BIF shots -- WOOT!!! Smaug the squirrel is fun, too, in a different way, as he never fails to delight me with his ongoing exhibitions of sheer greediness!

As for Week 37's shots, sometimes I just see something and I know I have to capture it somehow with a camera -- any camera at hand -- before the light or the scene changes irrevocably. The last two shots from that week definitely fall into that category. Glad you enjoyed both sets!
 
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  • #319
Thank you, Binnur! I really love watching and photographing the local wildlife here.....we are so fortunate to have this interesting variety of species! Now the Canada geese are beginning to return to the lake, too, having been away all summer somewhere else where it was presumably a little cooler. They will be around throughout the autumn and winter, if they follow the patterns from previous years.
 
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Connie, I love your creativity. I just caught up on weeks 37 and 38. I can't pick favorites because you have so many fun, interesting shots. Alfred taking flight is especially great.. You are getting very good at the bird photography. Your current gear suits you so well.
 
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