How does it go?......Is this thing on?

A healthy 8 months since my last (measly post).   I've been thinking about getting more active to justify this little website.   I head to Florida for my (mostly) annual camping trip.   I may see if I can post mobile while I'm there.  We'll see.


The photo above shows the faint Milky Way from a camping trip to Bear Island, NC in late October.  Below is a gorgeous sunrise from Emerald Isle, NC in early October.

Emerald Isle, NC October 2016



Fun with Camera Settings: Oxbow Bend at Sunrise

I barely made it out to Oxbow Bend during this trip to the Tetons.  This was our third and final morning there, so it was my last chance.  It didn't help that we'd had our big hike to Lake Solitude (14+ miles) the day before, but I rolled out of bed around 5:30am, put on a sweatshirt and shoes and drove the 10 minutes to Oxbow Bend.

Here's two photos taken moments apart with different settings:

Canon 7D | Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 lens | ISO 400 | f10 | 1/320


Canon 7D | Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 lens | ISO 400 | f10 | 1/80

Yellowstone, June 2015

There's nothing particularly special about this photo.  The lighting isn't great (was shooting into the sun), but to me it just says Yellowstone.  It was an early morning stop along the Yellowstone Grand Loop.   It was our first (very) early morning out and we loved those mornings with very few people up and out.  

Canon 7D | Canon 70-200mm + 1.4 Extender | ISO 800 | 1/5000 | F5.6 -2/3 stop

October Mini Road Trip: OBX and Bear Island Camping

September and October turned out to be really busy, but in a good way.  I was able to go on my first ever backpacking trip to South Mountains State Park and also head out to the Outer Banks a few days later for a 3 night camping trip.   I'm not sure there's a single photo from the backpacking trip that's worth sharing (I only took my P&S), but I did take a few photos on my car camping trip that I'll post.

My trip was a big loop starting/ending in Raleigh (naturally).  I drove from Raleigh to the National Park Campground in Frisco, NC ($20). The following day I took the ferry (free) from Hatteras Village to Ocracoke Island.  I spent the next night at the NPS Ocracoke Campground ($23).  The next morning I took the Ocracoke->Cedar Island Ferry ($15) and then met G at the Hammocks Beach State Park visitor center.  We took the 3:30pm passenger ferry ($5/person) to Bear Island for an overnight ($10).  I was lucky to have perfect weather and finally knocked a few items off my camping wishlist.

I took lots of photos, but realized that I'm pretty rusty and making silly mistakes or oversights (like bringing my polarizing filter but forgetting to put it on for half the trip).  The much talked about OBX bugs (huge mosquitoes) were still active in October (can't imagine the summer months) and drove me into my tent pretty quickly so I only snapped a few night photos, which I regret now.



Ocracoke Sunrise

Ferry From Ocracoke to Cedar Island -- somewhere in the Pamlico Sound

Looking Toward Emerald Isle from Bear Island

Bear Island Campsite Behind the Dunes

Sunrise on Bear Island

I definitely want to go back to Ocracoke and I hope to make an annual overnight on Bear Island.  There is something very cool about sharing a 3.5 mile long island with only 20 or so people, getting to watch the sunset, the stars come out, a huge moon rise, and then the sun rise the next morning....all just steps from your tent. 



Throwback Photo: Yosemite Sept '13

A few weeks ago our Cablevision went out due to a nearby lightning strike.  We decided to hook up the laptop to the TV and look at photos from our Yosemite and Yellowstone trips.  I came upon this photo and realized that I really liked it.  It was a smoky morning in the Valley due to the nearby Rim Fire.  We were so lucky to have a gorgeous day for our Panoroma/Mist trail hike just the day prior. 

On this morning, we were moving slow and really sore so we just puttered around the Valley and G fished in the Merced River.  I brought out my tripod and tried  taking photos here and there, but the smoke obscured any of the iconic granite peaks.  

But I like this photo for whatever reason.  It's not the greatest reflection, but nice enough.  And it includes the hazy/smoky atmosphere.

Merced River in Yosemite Valley, Smoky from Rim Fire

More Ironman Raleigh

This is my favorite sequence of photos I took on Sunday.  In looking back at the various photos, all my favorites are those of triathletes when they were with or saw their friends and families.  I liked this series so much (particularly the third) that I decided to use the Ironman website to see if I could find the triathlete.  Between the bib list and google and linkedin, I was able to find the Dad and send him the photos.  He was very happy to have them.  He wrote me not one, but two emails thanking me. 

WOW  !!!

These are PRICELESS !

Thanks so much for sharing !  This really makes my day.  


Hey Eileen,
Thanks so much for the photos.  I posted the pic of my daughter and I
as my new cover photo on Facebook and it was reposted by my sister.
The photo has received over 170 likes and over 40 comments....this is
very surprising as I only have 230ish FB friends.   I knew immediately
it was a fantastic photo and just wanted to say Thanks again.

Needless to say I was very happy I decided to reach out to him.

Hiking Camera Straps

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time. This is how I finally decided to rig up my camera and my day pack. I didn't want to just wear the shoulder strap around my neck for obvious (discomfort) reasons and I didn't want to store it in the main pack which would require me to stop to get it out for photos.

There are LOTS of different systems/straps to use. Since I wasn't sure what I'd like or what would work, I didn't want to try something expensive. After a lot searching, I found a really inexpensive solution to try.

I ordered this set of straps from Amazon, it's under 10 bucks!:

OP/TECH USA System Connector - Reporter/Backpack

The straps clip onto part of my shoulder straps (and I suppose it wouldn't work with all daypacks depending on the width of the straps). The bottom half connects to my 7D. Now the weight of the camera is on my shoulders rather than my neck.





Since I removed my original camera strap, I needed another option for when I was carrying my camera without my daypack. So I ordered another OP/TECH strap: OP/TECH USA Utility Strap - Sling (Black)

This strap is an inexpensive (less than $25) strap similar to the Black Rapid that's around $60. The Black Rapid attaches to the tripod connection, while the OP/TECH uses the regular strap connection point. Since I like to wear the camera on my left hip in this setup (lefty!) some things don't work as smoothly as it might on the right hip, but if the strap gets in the way, I just disconnect it while in use.

Since this strap comes with 2 different connections I had a spare that I could connect to my small G12 (actually, I didn't need either of the camera side straps since I'd purchased the ones for the daypack setup). The G12 is light enough that I wouldn't need to use both strap connections, but I do connect to one of the straps. I worried it might bounce around too much, but I used it this was for the whole Panorama/Mist trail hike in Yosemite and it never bothered me.

I haven't used the 7D in daypack set up for long hikes yet, but I did use it at Point Lobos and various other short hikes in California and at home.