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Sari ONeal

The Hummer Thread Vol.2!!!

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Sheila, amazing that thing came out of the kitten's eye. That reminds me of the time that my father was holding a goanna (monitor lizard) with a grass seed in it's eye. This was on the farm on Kangaroo Island. The goanna was a fair size (close to a meter or thereabouts) but it's eye was tiny compared to the grass seed. The grass seed was very thick and was pretty much covering the entire eye. Not a nice sight. I pulled it out and then shortly after, my father set the goanna free. 

Wendy, thanks for the good words on the dolphins photo. Dolphins are so hard to photograph. Even harder from a boat, I find. Though amazing to watch and to be around. Sometimes they swim quite close to the rocks. 

Oh yea I was suspecting that it may have been the Coronavirus that was pushing up the airfare dramatically. I actually haven't looked at any airfares for quite a while. Regardless of what mode of transport I take to Coober Pedy, I definitely wouldn't be part of any itinerary while I'm there. I like my freedom! Though yea good point about stopping on the way with a car trip. I must confess though that even at my age, I actually don't have a driver's license. So I'd have to convince other family members to tag along if I did want to go by car. 

And another thing - I think I would prefer to go to Cooby Pedy after I get hold of an rc quadcopter that can be used to record decent quality aerial video. Some time back, I was using a cheap action camera strapped to an MJX Bugs 3 Pro GPS quadcopter. That's what I used in Bali to record some aerial clips. Though a few months go, I had charged up the battery and only had this quad up in the air for about 1 - 2 minutes when it seemed to lose power and dropped out of the sky from a fair height. Not sure if I could trust it again.

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8 minutes ago, Jeffrey B. Banke said:

Patrick, can't you get new batteries for the drone? I did for mine, now have 4?

Jeff, I probably could. Though these are proprietary batteries -unique and specially designed for this particular drone. And thus - probably expensive. Though regardless, the battery was fully charged. So the drone likely has a fault of some kind. Maybe an electronic problem but who knows. If it's dropped out of the sky once, chances are it could do so again. 

By the way, I saw another whale today. This one had it's fin in the air and was bring it down hard on the water and splashing around. Ive never seen a whale so active before in real life. I got some more shots with the 600mm mirror lens. It was really hard to manually focus at one point (when it was really active.) Though I think I managed to get better focus later on when it had calmed down a bit. 

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Yea PAtrick most of the batteries are proprietary, mine are, but I managed to pick some up before they got too scarce since the company went out of the business.

 

Hey cool on the Whale and the 600mm shots!

My biggest lens is the 400mm f2.8, and if I put the 1.4 or 2x extenders on it, I just am not satisfied with the results, so have to content myself with either getting closer or cropping the 36Mp down to something smaller.

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6 minutes ago, Jeffrey B. Banke said:

Yea PAtrick most of the batteries are proprietary, mine are, but I managed to pick some up before they got too scarce since the company went out of the business.

 

Hey cool on the Whale and the 600mm shots!

My biggest lens is the 400mm f2.8, and if I put the 1.4 or 2x extenders on it, I just am not satisfied with the results, so have to content myself with either getting closer or cropping the 36Mp down to something smaller.

Thanks

I have the Nikon 80-400mm and the 1.4 convertor. I'm happy with the whale shot for myself but it isn't as good as I would have liked. Partly because it was hand held at full stretch and partly because I never knew where the whale was going to reappear so I didn't have time to get the lens really stabilized. I took some shots of the local foxes with it and they came out really well but I was able to stabilize it on my deck railing and the foxes behaved themselves by staying relatively static.

When I was on my Alaska cruise, a couple of the guys were using beanbags on top of the deck railing to stabilize their lenses. Once we can travel again that might be a good investment.

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Jeff, you have a 400mm f2.8? Woah I bet that would have cost the earth! Most of my telephoto lenses are pretty slow. 

Charles, I have heard of people using beanbags as lens supports on African game park safaris.

 

 

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I have used bean bags for about 50 years, they are particularly useful on Safari's in Africa where you need to rest lenses on the roof of the vehicle. Particularly good with big, heavy lenses that need support, but you do not want them to move. Sometimes use 2 one under the lens, and another the camera body.In fact our driver Frank on the last Safari provided me with one that he got to provide his clients with one after I had used one two years earlier with him on safari. He stopped by to purchase the beans to fill it, because he wanted me to determine how many beans were necessary to fill it to be useful. That way he knew for the future clients.

You can of course fill a bag with other things like sand (but it is not good if it leaks and gets in camera equipment), or one could use lead shot, but it is much heavier, the peanut type poly-foam stuff is too light and gives too much. I guess one could use peanuts or something like that, but beans are pretty commonplace and you can find them in any market in Africa, (or anywhere else in the world for that matter) so if you take your own bag, you can find the filler easy enough.

Oh, and yes Patrick, the 2.8 lens I bought was used, but in excellent condition, and cost more then my D800, about 2x, new they are $10,000

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I don't know why I didn't think of bringing empty bags and getting beans on location. I just cart stuff with me. Doh. LOL. My biggest lens is the 200-400 and it's a bear to hold and focus. The weight of that with the weight of the camera make hand held shots difficult for me because I have less than stellar upper body strength, so I almost exclusively use a tripod or brace it when I'm shooting. The car door makes a good solid object for it to sit on as well :) 

 

Jeff, I love looking at your Africa shots. Someplace i'll likely never go. I still want to go back to France and Italy and hit Ireland this time around (we went to London, France and Italy with the kids a few years back). That was before I was shooting for stock though so I missed a lot of good opportunities. C'est la vie. Given the travel restrictions, I'm guessing it'll be awhile before we get a chance to go back to Europe though. We talked about renting a trailer and driving cross country, but now even trailers are short in supply.

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7 hours ago, Wendy Townrow said:

Rice might work in the bean bags too ....

 

Yes Wendy, Rice is a good alternative, not too heavy, not too dusty, very fluid so you need to stuff the bag full so that it does not slide around inside the bag and change shape, but then that is true with all of the possible fillers. You want the bag filled enough that it does not change shape once you have put it in place, I usualy pound it with my fist before I place the lens on it, that way it pretty much is solid, and stuff inside does not move around and change positioning of the lens.

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Ive just disabled both of my ports. Although I feel it's justified to end the low commissions, it wasn't an easy thing to do. It was actually hard to flick that switch. 

By the way, my best selling image had sold for the 57th time not long ago. I know that may be considered low compared to some other peoples best sellers but it would have been interesting to see how many more times it would have sold.

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Good advice Jeff

Patrick we all have to make the best decisions for ourselves .... I am giving it till the end of the year to see what happens .... at present I am not hopeful to be honest ... RPD is averaging at 20c and that is not offset by quantity

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On 8/2/2020 at 2:56 PM, Sheila Fitzgerald said:

I don't know why I didn't think of bringing empty bags and getting beans on location. I just cart stuff with me. Doh. LOL. My biggest lens is the 200-400 and it's a bear to hold and focus. The weight of that with the weight of the camera make hand held shots difficult for me because I have less than stellar upper body strength, so I almost exclusively use a tripod or brace it when I'm shooting. The car door makes a good solid object for it to sit on as well :) 

 

Jeff, I love looking at your Africa shots. Someplace i'll likely never go. I still want to go back to France and Italy and hit Ireland this time around (we went to London, France and Italy with the kids a few years back). That was before I was shooting for stock though so I missed a lot of good opportunities. C'est la vie. Given the travel restrictions, I'm guessing it'll be awhile before we get a chance to go back to Europe though. We talked about renting a trailer and driving cross country, but now even trailers are short in supply.

Glad you like the Africa shots, wish they made some money for me, guess just too many people have been there and done that!

Never say never now Sheila, you might get the opportunity to go someday, do I need to drop a hint to hubby :-)

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Jeff, I've actually heard less than stellar things about issues of safety in regards to traveling to Africa. That and the elevated temperatures. I'm not particularly fond of desert landscapes. Maybe driving through in the winter, but that's not particularly my idea of a fun time. Having the ability to photograph the animals would be the only up side of the whole thing. I'd much rather go to Europe or Australia. I've been to both but one can never really see it all. And as mentioned before, Ireland is on my bucket list. And maybe Scotland.  Since my roots are from that area, it'd be fun to see and photograph.

Patrick, as Wendy says, we have to all make the best decisions for ourselves. I'm also giving it til the end of the year to see how things go. Over all, my bottom line is only slightly lower than it would normally be. June was decent and up from June last year and July was actually up almost $100 from last year as well, so as much as I hate seeing the 10¢ downloads, the larger subs make it only slightly less and I've been getting some rather significant SOD's (hopefully that'll continue). And of course video sales. Most of those were pathetic but a few decent ones help the bottom line (for me). If they don't rethink the reset in January, we'll see how that impacts things. I am not thrilled with the idea of dropping back down to the lowest level every year. Nothing like rewarding hard work with a good shove off the top of the building.

My husband gave the puppers free reign (mostly) of the house today and he's actually doing quite well. We did block off all the bedrooms (except ours since he's allowed in there) and all the bathrooms so he won't tear up the trash. Mostly he's terrorizing the cats but over all he's behaving decently. So I guess I can reposition the baby gate on the kitchen to my studio, since the cats want to get in there to escape him and I don't want him in there tearing things up. We have baby gates on my daughter's bedroom door (since Jasmine sleeps in there it gives her a puppy free zone) and the kids computer room door too (although that door is closed right now as well since we are fostering the kitten in there). I feel like I have a toddler again except that I don't have to worry about the stairs.

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Wendy and Sheila, that sounds like a smart plan - waiting til the end of the year to see how things play out. Maybe I should have done that.

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Sheila, your perception of Africa is tainted, Australia is much more of a desert than Africa (landmass percentage wise) since all of the interior of Australia is a desert with a small fringe around the coast of green vegetation. I have Been to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Bendigo, Melbourne, have hunted wild pig and roo's around Dubbo & Nygan, and to Tasmania. Once you get to Dubbo, there is not a heck of a lot between there and Perth except desert. You have to remember that Australia is the smallest continent, but one of the biggest countries.

Africa on the other hand is a much larger continent, comprised of many (54) countries, and is 14 times larger than the US, so like the US has a very many varied climatic zones. Like the US where we have desert pretty much from Reno to Green River, so does Africa, but like everything else about Africa on a much larger scale.

Yes the Sahara is one great big desert, but Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa even Uganda are certainly not, and the Republic of Congo is one great big Jungle.

Temperatures in Tanzania, South Africa are temperate, not unlike the Bay area, in so much depending on the time of the year you can experience frost over night, I experience it in SA, in April. Best time to go to Tanzania, Kenya is November, both temperatures and visibility of the animals.

As far as the safety issue, Tanzania is wonderfully safe, they have realized that a large part of the economy is tourism.  I have been there twice and have never felt ill at ease, the same is true for South Africa, where I have also been 2 times. One does have to be wary of the animals, they are wild and not pets, tame or in a zoo. For the most part though one is traveling through the national parks in a vehicle, so perfectly safe. The people in Tanzania are some of the friendliest and welcoming people on the planet, as were the folks in SA. I cannot speak regarding the other African countries, other than Egypt where I have been once, which is mostly desert, except along the Nile.

Anyway, don't count it out of your todo list, I am looking forward to going back to Africa.

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18 minutes ago, Jeffrey B. Banke said:

Sheila, your perception of Africa is tainted, Australia is much more of a desert than Africa (landmass percentage wise) since all of the interior of Australia is a desert with a small fringe around the coast of green vegetation. I have Been to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Bendigo, Melbourne, have hunted wild pig and roo's around Dubbo & Nygan, and to Tasmania. Once you get to Dubbo, there is not a heck of a lot between there and Perth except desert. You have to remember that Australia is the smallest continent, but one of the biggest countries.

Africa on the other hand is a much larger continent, comprised of many (54) countries, and is 14 times larger than the US, so like the US has a very many varied climatic zones. Like the US where we have desert pretty much from Reno to Green River, so does Africa, but like everything else about Africa on a much larger scale.

Yes the Sahara is one great big desert, but Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa even Uganda are certainly not, and the Republic of Congo is one great big Jungle.

Temperatures in Tanzania, South Africa are temperate, not unlike the Bay area, in so much depending on the time of the year you can experience frost over night, I experience it in SA, in April. Best time to go to Tanzania, Kenya is November, both temperatures and visibility of the animals.

As far as the safety issue, Tanzania is wonderfully safe, they have realized that a large part of the economy is tourism.  I have been there twice and have never felt ill at ease, the same is true for South Africa, where I have also been 2 times. One does have to be wary of the animals, they are wild and not pets, tame or in a zoo. For the most part though one is traveling through the national parks in a vehicle, so perfectly safe. The people in Tanzania are some of the friendliest and welcoming people on the planet, as were the folks in SA. I cannot speak regarding the other African countries, other than Egypt where I have been once, which is mostly desert, except along the Nile.

Anyway, don't count it out of your todo list, I am looking forward to going back to Africa.

Having been to the Serengeti, I have to agree with your comments re: safety. Our guides were fantastic and they all talk to each other so that the tourists don't miss out on animal sightings. Our guide called himself 'Safari Steve' and he was quite a character. At the hotel we had a Masai warrior to escort us back to our room just in case one of the local animals got peckish.

That was at the beginning of my photography addiction. Would love to go back with the gear and the knowledge I have now. 

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Thanks Jeff. Maybe I'll have to look at doing more in depth research on Africa at some point.

 

Charles, the "danger" I was thinking about was more about the fighting among people rather than the animals attacking. We've gone on camping trips where we were not allowed to even walk the girls to the bathrooms at night. they recommended we get in a vehicle and drive the 100 feet or so to the bathrooms and then drive back to ensure safety from cougars in the area. And Im probably not up on recent news but I'd heard alot at one point about fighting going on in Africa and areas that are not safe for tourists. I just don't know how wide spread that is as I've never really looked into it since I knew I wasn't planning any trips in the area.

 

So far so good on the dog having free reign of the house. He hasn't chewed up any shoes. Mostly he tends to follow me around from room to room. Although he was not impressed when I went in to socialize with the kitten (since teenagers don't seem to be. up before 2PM most days).

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23 minutes ago, Sheila Fitzgerald said:

Thanks Jeff. Maybe I'll have to look at doing more in depth research on Africa at some point.

 

Charles, the "danger" I was thinking about was more about the fighting among people rather than the animals attacking. We've gone on camping trips where we were not allowed to even walk the girls to the bathrooms at night. they recommended we get in a vehicle and drive the 100 feet or so to the bathrooms and then drive back to ensure safety from cougars in the area. And Im probably not up on recent news but I'd heard alot at one point about fighting going on in Africa and areas that are not safe for tourists. I just don't know how wide spread that is as I've never really looked into it since I knew I wasn't planning any trips in the area.

 

So far so good on the dog having free reign of the house. He hasn't chewed up any shoes. Mostly he tends to follow me around from room to room. Although he was not impressed when I went in to socialize with the kitten (since teenagers don't seem to be. up before 2PM most days).

Sheila look at this, if you are worried about people don't go to Chicago, 40 people killed over the weekend, 2x the number (107) of murders this year in July compared to last year. If I was an African, (well actually, from any other country) I would be concerned about coming to the USA. Oh and by the way, Chicago has THE most restrictive gun laws of any City in the US, and yet has the highest murder rate per capita. Recent study showed crime has gone down 5.3% in 25 major cities, however murders have gone up 16.1%  in those same cities. 638472584_ScreenShot2020-08-05at1_19_08PM.png.40fd3fd68ad114e8a2368c52606c22df.png1846194769_ScreenShot2020-08-05at1_16_28PM.thumb.png.173b13d6b5ba4f6ee14f0c177a7fdf5e.png528367959_ScreenShot2020-08-04at6_42_33AM.thumb.png.5c3a8e70ca982bd7d32466b7a4744914.png

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Yeah, I guess the U.S. isn't such a great place to visit either, especially right now :(  I'll be happy when I can get to Arizona again to see my grandson in person, but that's not going to happen anytime soon either. So glad I took the week to go there just before the lock downs went into effect.

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2 hours ago, Sheila Fitzgerald said:

Thanks Jeff. Maybe I'll have to look at doing more in depth research on Africa at some point.

 

Charles, the "danger" I was thinking about was more about the fighting among people rather than the animals attacking. We've gone on camping trips where we were not allowed to even walk the girls to the bathrooms at night. they recommended we get in a vehicle and drive the 100 feet or so to the bathrooms and then drive back to ensure safety from cougars in the area. And Im probably not up on recent news but I'd heard alot at one point about fighting going on in Africa and areas that are not safe for tourists. I just don't know how wide spread that is as I've never really looked into it since I knew I wasn't planning any trips in the area.

 

So far so good on the dog having free reign of the house. He hasn't chewed up any shoes. Mostly he tends to follow me around from room to room. Although he was not impressed when I went in to socialize with the kitten (since teenagers don't seem to be. up before 2PM most days).

I felt perfectly safe all the time I was there. They are pretty well organized and tourism is big business for them so they aren't going to let people come in and screw that up for them.

We flew in from Kilimanjaro International in a single engine Cessna Caravan plane landing on a bush airstrip (i.e. not tarmac). As we were coming in you could see elephants, zebra and wildebeest all around the airstrip. I was just hoping they hadn't wandered onto the runway.

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On 8/4/2020 at 11:16 AM, Patrick Cooper said:

Ive just disabled both of my ports. Although I feel it's justified to end the low commissions, it wasn't an easy thing to do. It was actually hard to flick that switch. 

By the way, my best selling image had sold for the 57th time not long ago. I know that may be considered low compared to some other peoples best sellers but it would have been interesting to see how many more times it would have sold.

Good for you 

Once you’ve come to terms with making your decision, you will have peace of mind

SS isn’t walking anything back, rest assured

Do I miss having that $100/ month come in? In a way, but I just can’t stand the pennies insults every time I see on of those measly sales and if they have been emboldened to do it once, they will at some point do it again

 

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Njene, yes good points. On the other hand, it is a tough decision for people like me who don't have much in the way of money anyhow. 

By the way, at the last whale sighting here, I had just finished photographing and was about to walk back home. On the way, I was approached by a woman who had also been watching the whale. Apparently, she runs an online magazine and is interested in buying some whale photos from me for use online. 

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Wendy, I think we are all kind of stuck with the arm chair travels for this next year at least. I hope you and yours are doing better over all.

 

Youngest is going to a "socially distanced" party today. Not sure how I feel about this. She had a friend over the other day to sign her yearbook and after half an hour, she had him in the house. Granted, wearing a mask. But I kicked them both back out into the backyard anyway. SO I made it clear since this was supposed to be at a park and is now at the persons house (because the park doesn't allow larger gatherings outside of immediate families) that if it migrated inside, she was NOT to migrate with them and I expect a phone call to pick her up if that happens. I doubt any of her friends have been exposed but one can never be too careful. Parenting of legally adult teens is a massive PITA sometimes.

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