Every Sasquatch deserves a beer

Hey, scaring the crap out of hikers and campers all day must make for some pretty thirsty Bigfoots. As seen in Crescent, Oregon.

--S.H.

This photo is copyright Steve Hymon and may not be used without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

 

Upper Klamath Canoe Trail

 

Road trip!

Upper Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge's canoe trail. Photo taken with iPhone5 and VSCOcam app.

--S.H.

This photo copyright Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

 

Allen's hummingbird, part 2



One last hummingbird photo -- I promise I'll stop now!

I like the processing on this one. Tried to give it the film look. Even added some grain. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

Allen's hummingbird at the Page Museum



Click above to see larger, por favor!

These are a couple of the crisper and closer photos I've taken of a hummingbird. It probably helps that I haven't (yet) cropped the hell out of the above image for a closer view. 

There are a bunch of hummers that hang out by the sage in front of the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits in L.A. I was taking a break from Sunday's CicLAvia event when this guy/girl came buzzing around -- it was really a matter of picking up the camera and telephoto, aiming and firing. 

Camera & Settings on top photo: Nikon D5100, Nikon 70-300mm lens at 280mm, 1/2000th shutter speed, f/5.6, ISO 400. Shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom. I cropped nearly 40 percent of the original image. 

Below is another shot that was hugely cropped, thereby resulting in a lot of digital noise that I terminated via Topaz's anti-noise software (well the free trial of it). It's a pretty cool photo but I'm obsessing that there's some chromatic aberration on a few of the sage leaves (it could just be leaf fuzz, so says my domi partner) and perhaps some banding in the background. Thoughts?

I know, I know. Who gives a shit? It's not like I'm getting paid for this! I'm just a dude looking to sell the occasional print to help for my next camera/beer/both. Anyway, click below to see larger. 




Camera & Settings: Nikon D5100, Nikon 70-300mm lens at 220mm, 1/1600th shutter speed, f/5.6, ISO 400. Shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom. I lost nearly 90 percent of the original image because I cropped so close. If I can fix the issues bothering me, I can easily get a decent print out of this at 16 inches wide or so. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

Nice save, goalie



To celebrate the end of another pro hockey season, here's one from a beer league game I shot a few weeks ago. And, yes, my team's goalie made the save. 

Camera & Settings: Nikon D5100, Nikon 70-300mm telephoto lens at 70mm, ISO 160, 1/500th shutter, f/5.6, shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom with a small crop. 

An ISO of 1600 on the D5100 is really pushing things and the camera produces a lot of digital noise (or grain). Even so, I manage to get a photo that will look pretty good as a print at 8 x 12 or so. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

Almost full moon, June 20, 2013

Not super moon but nice one on June 20, 2013, taken in Lacey Park in San Marino, CA.

Took this last night in the park. It actually wasn't dark out yet but I adjusted the settings to capture details on the moon and not worry about the light in the sky. As the saying goes, shooting the moon is like shooting a light bulb and you really have to be careful not to blow out the highlights. 

So I tried to underexpose it a bit, having overexposed in the past. 

Camera & Settings: Nikon D5100, Nikon 70-300mm telephoto lens at 270mm, 1/1000th shutter speed, f/8 and ISO 160, -2 EV. It was shot as a jpeg and I processed in Lightroom. cropping about 90 percent of the original image. I could probably print it and get a perfectly nice 8 x 12 or so. 

No tripod. The camera was handheld. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

Wild rose, desaturated



Some kind of wild rose at the Huntington Gardens. Click above to see larger please! 

Can't decide if this would be a better photo if everything was in focus or as is. I could have put the camera on a tripod, closed down the aperture and shot at a slower shutter speed. But I was lazy. 


Still, it ain't bad. The structure is nice with the lines going out diagonally from the center of the frame and, as usual, I like some of the frame being dark, which places greater emphasis on the colors. 

Camera & Settings: Nikon D5100, Nikon DX 35mm/1.8 lens, 1/80th shutter speed, f/4.5, ISO 320. Shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom 4, using the onOne preset named "vibrant desaturation." I also added some vignetting.  


Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.


--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

Two views of a tree growing in a cliff: 2003 and 2013


A tree clings to a cliff in the Sequoia National Forest above the South Fork of the Kings River.

Route 180 tree


Above are photos taken almost exactly a decade apart from a roadside pullout in the Sequoia National Forest. The top one was taken on Memorial Day of this year; the bottom was shot by yours truly in mid-May 2003 by my partner Julie. 

The top photo was was shot in RAW with a 16-megapixel Nikon D5100 and processed in Adobe Lightroom 4. The bottom photo was taken with a 2-megapixelCanon PowerShot A40 and tweaked slightly in iPhoto. 

And guess what? The bottom photo is a much better photo. It has better weather, better light and a wider view that better tells the story of this tree's unlikely location. I, on the other hand, tossed a 70-300mm telephoto lens on my camera and zoomed in -- and, as a result, lost the context. I also shot the photo at mid-day when the light was blah. 

Moral of the story: In this case, timing and a good eye by Julie mattered a lot more than megapixels, a big lens and a modern camera. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

Sleeping mourning dove squab



Click above to see larger! Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

Left my camping pillow outside to dry and found a mourning dove squad (read: baby) taking a snooze on it Saturday morning. He/She also took a dump on my pillow. 

Camera & settings: Nikon D5100, 240mm on Nikon 70-300mm telephoto lens, 1/400th shutter speed, f/10, ISO 200. I shot it hand-held. 

UPDATE, JUNE 21: One of my neighbors down the street has a bunch of cats she lets roam free and one of them killed the baby dove this morning in our yard. People with cats: keep them in the house or supervise them. We certainly never invited this lady's cat into our yard. 

Wildlife belongs to everyone -- not just selfish cat owners. A recent study by the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic and feral cats kill 2.4 billion birds and more than 12 million mammals each year. See this New York Times article

Cats are just doing what cats do. The problem is selfish fucking people who believe their pets should have the run of the neighborhood. If their pets didn't have an impact, I'd say whatever. But they do. I have a dog and I'd love not to pick up his poop all the time. But I do. And I don't let Sam run free, both for his safety and out of respect for others. 

Yea, I'm really fucking pissed to be honest. 

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Western bluebirds









Screwing around with the telephoto at Lacey Park in San Marino, where I had seen Western bluebirds before. And sure enough about six o'clock out they came. 


Naturally, I like the bottom photo the best -- yeah, the one in silhouette and black and white. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

These photos are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Portrait of a Dog



Click above to see larger please! 

This may be one of the best photos I've taken of Sammy despite the fact he wouldn't smile for me. Mr. Sam is notoriously camera shy -- as soon as he says a lens or iPhone pointed at him, it's goodbye Mr. Grinface. 

I take Sammy frequently to Lacey Park in San Marino - it's hard not to notice how wonderful the light is at the park, especially in the last two hours of the day when sunlight is filtered through the trees. This spot is in a small grove of pines and I chose it because it's a little secluded and I liked the bench in the background. 


On two occasions the sun hit Sammy directly and I just held down the shutter release and hoped to get a good dog-face expression from him. 


Camera and settings: Nikon D5100, Nikon DX 35mm 1.8 lens, 1/250th shutter speed, f/3.5, ISO 250. I shot in RAW, as usual, and processed the photo in Lightroom 4. Note: the Nikon DX 35mm lens is a really great lens and it only cost $199. 

In hindsight, I probably could have employed a little more depth of field. If you were standing in this spot, everything would be in focus. In this case, I was trying to keep the focus on Sammy and trying to downplay a pair of parked cars on the street beyond the fence. 

Another dog portrait tip: Sam gets some eye schmutz that builds up. I didn't notice until processing. I should have brought some kleenex and wiped down his eyes ahead of time. Yeah, I know -- sounds a little over-the-top. But if your dream is to get your dog on the box of some dog product, you gotta think of everything! 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Amazing biomass in a western Sierra forest



Another one from my recent visit to Kings Canyon. I posted a similar one with sequoia trees. This one is actually more impressive even if the trees are shorter. It shows the amazing amount of biomass produced by a forest in the western Sierra. 

The photo was taken along the hiking trail around Zumwalt Meadows in the Cedar Grove section of the park.  I believe many of the trees are ponderosa pines. 

Settings: Nikon D5100, Nikon DX 10-24mm lens at 15mm, 1/50th second handheld, f/8, ISO 100, converted to black and white in Lightroom 4. Click on the photo to see it larger please. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

VSCOcam -- great new photo app for iPhone







Downloaded the new version of VSCO app for iPhone the other day. At first glance, it seems to take the already good iPhone camera and make it even better. The app also has some nice filters that seek to replicate the look of old film types. 

I shot the above pics over the weekend using the app. 

VSCO (for Visual Supply Company) also makes presets for photo processing software, such as Lightroom. Those are pricey and I've never tried them -- although I'm tempted (I'm always tempted). There's also a package of other filters available for the phone app for a few bucks. 

Here's the link to the app in the iTunes store. Looks like there are also some additional filters for sale once you download the app. 

--S.H.

The above photos are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used or reproduced elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Acorn woodpeckers -- Woody Woodpecker?






Just screwing around with the telephoto lens before sunset -- nice light on the palms on my street and the woodpeckers were doing their usual late-in-the-day flyabout. Didn't get a true keeper; focus is a little fuzzy on these because they were handheld. Tripod next time although that will be difficult -- these guys don't stay in one place for long. 

The black and white is probably the more interesting one. 

Both were taken with my Nikon D5100 using the Nikon 70-300mm telephoto lens. 

Top photo settings: 300mm, ISO 800, 1/400, f/8, manual, heavily cropped. 
Bottom photo settings: 300mm, ISO 640, 1/800, f/5/6, manual, lightly cropped. Converted to b&w in Lightroom 4. Also Topaz denoise to help get rid of excess noise. 

I always assumed Woody Woodpecker was modeled on an acorn woodpecker, given their abundance in Southern California. According to the Oracle (i.e. Wikipedia), it was either a pileated woodpecker or acorn woodpecker with pileated having the edge. 

This is worth wasting six minutes on: 




Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Another hummingbird pic



Another hummingbird photo from my visit to the Huntington Gardens this past weekend. I almost overlooked this one -- it required a big crop. But the light is nice and I got the sun spot on his/her eyeball. 

Camera settings: Nikon D5100, Nikon 70-300mm lens at 300mm, 1/2000th, f/11, ISO 800. I was really trying to freeze the wings in motion and still didn't manage at 1/2000th. I had to run the photo through Topaz's de-noise program in processing -- the noise likely the result of shooting at ISO 800 with the telephoto fully extended. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Ice hockey goalie waiting for something to happen



Quick lunch break photo: I shot this one last night during my team's beer league game. I'm out with an ACL tear -- total pain in the ass -- so trying to work on my sports photography skills until healed.

Although the score was close last night, my team spent much of the game on offense, meaning our goalie was a spectator for most of the evening. I pretty much like everything about the photo -- the sense of being frustrated and/or bored at being far from the action, a rink mostly empty except for the players on the ice and the timelessness perhaps conveyed by the image being in black-and-white.

I used my 70-300mm telephoto lens to shoot most of the game. This one, however, was taken with my Nikon 10-24mm wide-angle lens; I was screwing around and trying to capture the surroundings. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Hummingbird and bokeh

A hummingbird at the Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA.

That's the original image after some processing above. Nice try but the bird and that branch on the right aren't quite in focus. But I love the colors in the bokeh -- the stuff in the background that's out of focus. 

So I tried fixing it by cropping it tighter -- goodbye branch -- and darkening it so that the bird is in silhouette. Much better. Maybe needs to be a little lighter. This is one of those pics I'll obsess about and process 18 different ways. 




Camera settings: Nikon D5100 (DX, or cropped), Nikon DX 70 to 300mm lens at 300mm, ISO 800, 1/1600 shutter, f/5.6.

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

Hummingbird posing at the Huntington



Found myself in a grove of trees at the Huntington Gardens late Sunday afternoon with a ton of hummingbirds and butterflies. Got lucky on this one -- there was a tree or brush with yellow flowers in the background and I was hoping a bird would show up in the foreground. And it did! 

I believe it's a female Allen's hummingbird but I'm not very good at identifying these things. 

I shot the photo with my Nikon D5100 and Nikon DX 70-300mm lens at 1/1600, f/5.6, 300mm and ISO 800. There was a fair amount of noise that I managed to somewhat subdue in Lightroom.

As per usual, I sell prints from my SmugMug site--they do a nice job with prints and they're inexpensive. An 8 x 12 on metallic paper -- my preferred paper -- is $10.95. 

Here's my SmugMug site. Me on Twitter.

--S.H.

This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved.