Due to the pandemic that was not possible, so I instead rented the Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens from Hunt’s Photo Video. My son and I drove up and tried finding locations to photograph from. The land across from the Kennebec River is filled with private houses and offered no outlet from which to photograph the USS LBJ. We ended up starting on the US Route 1 bridge and traveling down to the Doubling Point Lighthouse:
The Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens is a very heavy lens. Hand holding it seemed a recipe for blurry photos so I put it on a sturdy tripod. It worked well though the walkway to the Doubling Point Lighthouse vibrated when people walked on it.
From the US Route 1 bridge:
From the Doubling Point Lighthouse:
From where on the Doubling Point Lighthouse I photographed the LBJ. Taken while on a previous boat cruise.
Finally got around to photographing and uploading my latest set of 1/2400 ship miniatures. I cannot claim that I painted the ships. That honor goes to gak8346 who has a far better eye for painting small modern ships than I do. I’ll stick to other miniatures.
I played with focus stacking and using HeliconFocus got a number of photos of ships at oblique angles. Some post-Cold War GHQ ships:
Bill’s Models was nice enough to create some ships at my request, so I had to get them, including some USNS RO-ROs:
And some merchant ships:
They are all decent ships, but if you are starting out with adding merchant or RO-ROs to your collection, I recommend getting some of the US ships from Viking Forge such as the Sealift Pacific, Cape Isabel and Algol.
In July, my sons and I went to Danehy Park in Cambridge to see Comet NEOWISE. We got there before sunset to find a good position on the hill in the park.
It wasn’t the best location, even besides the mosquitos that came out after dusk, but it was a good opportunity to try time lapse/astro photography.
It wasn’t easy to find Comet NEOWISE with the naked eye, so I pointed my camera in the right direction, took a long exposure photograph, then checked if the comet was in the photograph. Whether it was there or not, I repositioned the camera to either find it or get a better picture of it.
It was an iterative process.
I played with the duration of the photographs experiencing that long durations at high focal lengths result in star trails. Some had a good balance.
The next day, clad in bug spray and long pants, my son and I tried photographing the comet from the top of the Alewife MBTA stop garage in Cambridge. The combination of the clouds and the bright garage lights hindered my efforts to get decent pictures. It was a good scouting opportunity. Unfortunately, the weather since hasn’t been great so it was good we went out the earlier night.
A week behind in posting this, but here are some more pictures of animals in our yard. The Nikon Z50 is really a step up from my D3300 and the 50-250mm lens is fantastic. Not regretting getting one at all.
If you would be interested in such a workshop for your community, non-profit group or company, please feel free to contact me at jokeefe at jamesokeefe dot org and I would be happy to setup a time or help find other members of the Somerville Cryptoparty group to teach.
I ended up using two lenses I already had: an 18-35mm and a 105mm, one f/1.8 and the other f/2.8. The 18-35mm didn’t work in the end and I used the 105mm for most of the photographs. Using burst mode, I took over 700 photos, which did help with the editing and it took a bit to cull them down to the 25 I felt were good enough.
All photographs are CC BY-SA 3.0, except for Kristin Hersh, Fred Abong, Rob Ahlers and ONCE Somerville who can use them however they wish.