All posts by Bc Hannold

Thought for the day Friday, May 17 2015


To me a great measure of success is not how well I can control the environment I live in,

but how well I can adapt to the environment I am passing through.

                                                                                                   Bc Hannold

Birds on The Lake

Last week I finally got the Kayak out on the lake to do some bird shots. Although it was more of a trial run for the Kayak (making sure everything is ship shape), and the car, (Seeing if the kayak would fit on the car).

Need a bigger boat!


So I lucked into a nice day, although it may have been too nice, very bright out and unseasonably warm by the time to the lake. At least I didn’t have any storms to face that day though. So after working out mounting the kayak on the car, I headed for Douglas Lake. Actually it was on the Pigeon River near where it meets the French Broad River, kind of the beginning of the lake.

I got to the lake and got the kayak into the water about 11am. Pretty bright by that time, and I took the little camera for this outing. I still have to work out a dry system for the larger camera to fit the kayak. But this area is a wetlands area and a little bit of a preserve so the birds were abundant. Herons, Osprey, Ducks, Geese, Anhingas, and many more were out in numbers, along with a couple eagles.

Bright Sunny Day




The kayak is great for its stability. None of the worries of leaning to far that you get in a canoe, but in the end you are shooting from a boat that is moving, albeit slowly, from a sitting position. So stabilizing the camera was challenge, even for the small and light Panasonic FZ50 I was using.  I chose this camera as a small fixed lens camera I could keep in the car for mostly landscape shooting. It does okay for that with a nice 28 – 400 35mm equivalent Ziess lens, but I did find myself missing the big rig on this excursion. In order to try to avoid motion blur from the kayak and bird movement, I used an iso 400, which when combined with the maximum zoom produced quite a bit of noise in the images. Also the write speed of the camera is pretty slow, with little buffer, so a lot of images were missed waiting for the camera to write to the sd card, but this mainly a day to play to anyway. I plan to go back with the big rig next week weather permitting, and try to get some serious shots.

The kayak was excellent for getting close to the birds without spooking them too much. Herons are always a challenge of course, but with some quiet drifting I was able to get into position to get some pretty decent shots with a few of the more tolerant herons.

Heron on a log
Another heron another log
Another heron another log

















Of course many were spooked as well, so I got a little practice at takeoffs.

Moving on

Moving on

At this point I must through a plug for Lightroom 4. I was very impressed with its ability to clean up noise on these shots. These are pretty severe crops on a 10 mp point and shoot, so all things considered I’ll take em.

In Flight
In Flight












The osprey were in abundance. There are a number of nest in the area in old dead trees, a silo, and an old railroad bridge. So there is a lot of opportunity for flight shots, and nest shots if you can get a good angle. Hard to shoot sitting down in kayak, but a great place to try.

Through in a few gossiping geese and all in all, it was a fun day. I can’t wait to get back out there with the bigger rig at a better hour of the day.  While the little camera did a pretty good job, I know I can do a lot better with a rig better designed for this kind of shooting.

Gossip corner
Gossip corner

Thought for the day 4/3/15


Each and every person is a singularity


Each person is unique on this planet, and in the eyes of our higher power.

But when we celebrate our differences we stand alone.

When we celebrate our similarities we stand as a community.

If we view another person in light of our differences, then we will stand apart from that person.

If we view another person in light of our sameness, then we will stand together with that person.

So we should decide first how we want to relate to someone, before we decide how to view them.

Fear divides, compassion unites.


Thought for the Day 27 Mar 2015

The greatest wisdom is to apply what others have learned.


Who among us can learn everything? Have we the time? The ability?

In almost everything we do or use throughout the day, we depend on the knowledge of others. Who has time to build the car before they drive to work? Who will invent electricity before work so they can have coffee. Our modern lives are totally dependent on the experience of others.


Yet where it matters most, we deny the experience of others. We insist we must burn our own hands to learn the stove is hot, and sometimes we must burn it many times before we learn. To be able to bring the experience of those before us into our personal lives can be our greatest wealth. Why will we spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to learn the theorems and paradigms of faceless others, while we scorn the experience of those around us because we believe we are different, we are special.


When last we flew, did we ponder what sort of man Bernoulli was? Whether he was qualified to decide that wings would lift? Why will we trust our lives to a mystic theory of fluid dynamics, yet in the same day deny the experience of those around us when it affects our personal lives, our feelings, our emotions, our morals, and our judgment.


When we refuse the wisdom of those before us, we remain as school children. Forever touching the stove to see if it is hot. It was when we can trust the emotional wisdom of others that we can grow as adults. Using this experience we can grow exponentially. We no longer have to hurt to learn.

Thought for the day 24 Mar 2015


It is a weak faith indeed that fears man for God.

When one fears that man can infringe on God’s domain, he must think his god weak indeed. If another faith can instill fear in a man, can that man’s faith be strong? It must be a weak god indeed, if a man must live fear of another man’s god. Through faith comes strength and courage. From strength and courage comes love and compassion. Will my faith today be strong enough to show my fellow man compassion?

Moon Over Fox

What me photoshop?????? Never….

Surely you jest, you say. And I do. Couldn’t resist having a little fun with the “SuperMoon” this weekend.  This is a composite shot from my backyard and the Fox Memorial tower across the street.

Super Moon Over the Fox Memorial Tower

It loses a little in the translation to jpg, should be a little brighter. But you get the idea. With all the hype about the super moon this weekend I had to get out. Although it looked like the clouds were going to sock it in, they managed to clear enough around 10pm to get a little shooting in.  So how do you shoot a shot like this? Beats me, I couldn’t do it. So its obviously a composite of two shots that I threw together.

So first the moon. Shot from my back porch with a Canon 1DS Mark II, 100-400 Zoom @ 400 mm with a tamaron 2x teleconverter.  Shot at 1/100 @ f16 w iso 400. Then in lightroom I added a little contrast to make it pop a bit more.

SuperMoon From Backyard

Next in Photoshop I cut out the moon by selecting the dark background, inverting the selection, refining the edge a little and then copy. Whala! I have a moon.

The next step is to shoot the tower. After shooting the moon from the back yard I headed across the street to shoot images of the tower with the moon in the background. Mostly silhouettes, with the moon above the top of the tower. I didn’t get any shots that knocked my socks off, but of course I remembered to do some playing while I was shooting, so I came up with following shot of the tower.

Fox Tower By Moonlight

This was shot using a Canon 1DS Mark II, 100-400 Zoom @ 160 mm .  Shot at 30 sec @ f13 w ISO 1000. The bright area is the moon moving through the clouds during the 30 second exposure. I also lit the tower using the LED headlamp I was using. I rather like the muted look and the soft sky due to the motion blur. So its a simple matter of pasting the moon into this image after I cleaned up the branches on the left and straightend the tower. Amazing the focus looks okay even though I could not see the tower to focus while setting up the shot, just the silhouette.

So, all in all, a different shot that was pretty easy to do. I didn’t want to spend too much time with it because I knew that it would not be a natural looking shot. This was more for fun than anything else. Although I may play with it a little more to see what  other fun I can create. But the important thing is I got a little practice shooting at night, instead of watching it from the couch.

Here are a couple more untouched shots. The challenge is getting a crisp shot of the moon, while having a long enough exposure to get a crisp silhoutte of the tower. The obvious solution would be to light the tower sufficiently to get the desired shot. But I didn’t have a good light me to be able to do that. And the moon was moving far to fast for the long exposures necessary for a striking silhouette. Again the jpg’s are quite a bit darker than the origionals

Moon Over Fox Silhouette
Soft Moon Over Fox

Keep on Klikin!