Friday, March 2, 2012

The Anhinga

Some of my favorite images are not necessarily my best images, but they remind me of a wonderful experience. And for me, that's one of the most important aspects of photography. After returning from our recent trip to Florida and Everglades National Park I decided that it would be fun to write a little bit about these special times.  Here is my first attempt.  I hope that you enjoy it.

An anhinga slips quietly into the waters of an old irrigation ditch filled with reeds on the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park.  Because the anhinga’s feathers are not waterproof, its body is submerged with only its long neck sticking out above the water.  At first glance, the submerged anhinga looks like a snake about to strike giving the anhinga its name, which in the Brazilian Tupi language means snake bird, a name that it is also commonly called.

Having spotted what I first thought was a snake and then realizing it was an anhinga, I watched as the anhinga dove its head into the water looking for fish. The anhinga moved slowly along with its head submerged, resurfacing every 15 seconds or so.  Several times it was successful and had speared a small fish.  The anhinga would then flip the fish into the air, grab it and swallow it down head first.


After several more unsuccessful tries, the anhinga came up with a larger fish, too much of a find to risk flipping it in the water so the snake bird quickly swam over to the bank, got out, and then swallowed the fish.  It took several seconds for the fish to make it all the way down the anhinga’s long neck. 

 Apparently breakfast was over because the anhinga then climbed out on a branch and spread its wings so its beautiful black and white feathers could dry.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Empty cache

This is a short and sweet hint since I have gotten burned by it both on a PC and a Mac. You want to clear your web browser's cache every so often. This is especially true if there is a website you regularly use to check a schedule because you may end up looking at an old version instead of the current one.  This website link,'s-Cache tells you the way to clear the cache for a variety of programs. In addition, I understand most browsers will have a setting to empty the cache when you exit the program.  This would probably not be a bad method if you are on a high speed connection since the main purpose of the cache is to keep from having to download the website again which would be more important with a slow connection.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September Newsletter

We have added our September Newsletter to our website. Topics covered include:

Fall Foliage Network
Photography Between Seasons
We now have a Blog!
Metal Prints
River Rocks 2011
Photographing Something Different

If you would like to be on our mailing list please let us know.  We mainly send out notifications that our website has been updated with the quarterly newsletter. Our email is

Friday, August 5, 2011

Camera Usage Statistics

I got curious about whether there were statistics on how people were photographing and found this article that I thought was interesting.

Camera Usage on Flickr

What is photography?

We recently returned from a photo tour in Switzerland. We were with a group of experienced photographers all using DSLR equipment. Much of our subject matter consisted of the beautiful mountains, flowers, interesting buildings, trains, changing light, colors, patterns, etc. We took a few pictures of each other, but that was certainly not the main focus of our photography.

Sunset at Murren, Switzerland

A week after coming home, our niece, nephew and their 3 children came to visit us in Chattanooga for part of their summer vacation. As we visited the sights, our niece was photographing with her new Canon T3i. She was taking family photos and a few others of the sights, mainly in program mode since she was just getting used to her camera.  Our nephew was using his iPod to take both stills and movies, mostly of the family. He planned to use a $5 app to edit the video and stills together and put them to some music he had on his iPod on the drive home.

Our nephew taking a video on his iPod
Tom had his Canon 5D to take a few family shots but mainly to photograph the sights. And I was using my new Olympus XZ-1 because it was easy to carry around, I was curious to see how it would do in a variety of lighting conditions and I thought I'd like to take a few in-camera panoramics.

See 7 states viewpoint at Rock City
As we traveled to sights like the TN Aquarium and Rock City I was again struck by how many people were using their cell phones to take their photos, many of them then sending them back to family, saying "this is where we are now". Photography has always been different things to different people, but the list list seems to be growing.  In a way, that's very cool!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Welcome to our blog!

Well, here we go again.  First Facebook and now Blogspot.  There is so much to understand about this whole social networking business but then isn't that what life is all about--continuing to learn!  Our plans for our blog are...well, we're really not sure at this point...but we think we want one.  We hope that you will join us as we discover how our blog evolves.  At this point we suspect it will have a variety of info, some that we write and also a lot of information that we come across that we find interesting and helpful.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
                  -Lao Tzu