This was the only wildlife we saw when Joy, Bob and I set out on a photo safari last Thursday. His name is Peanut. He was wildly friendly, but very sweet. He greeted us at the entrance to Jelk's Preserve. Peanut's owner was on the picnic table seat. Peanut however, was perched on the table itself. Clearly Peanut is a Top Dog.
Hmmm what shall I say about Jelk's. The paths were nice and wide and well kept. That's a positive. However, there was a lot of feral hog sign which causes us a little trepidation after the multiple sightings incident a few hikes back.
It was a pretty day, not too hot, not too cold. And there weren't crowds of other people. Those are both good things. It was a nice enough walk but honestly, there just wasn't all that much that was photo worthy.
Now I suppose that a really good photographer can find something worth capturing anywhere. And a superbly good photographer can make anything look really good in a photograph. I am neither of those things. But I surely do wish I was.
And I think that's partly why we do this. I mean, our weekly photo hikes. We keep taking pictures so that we can get better at it. Because that is how you get better at anything. By doing it. And reading about it. And talking to other photographers about it. And by experimenting.
And so we do. Joy, of course, is a far better photographer than I am. But I keep trying. And I listen to her suggestions. And I read all of the tutorials made available to me on the photo website that I belong to (Photo Bug). I talk with other photograhers. I watch them and see what the are doing. And I take a lot of pictures and experiment as I go.
I usually come back from any photo excursion with a few hundred pictures. Once I load them onto my computer, I set about going through them. The first go-round is just deleting terrible shots. The accidental picture of my foot, blurry shots, crooked shots, my famous finger over the lens shots, things of that sort.
The next time through is to find the best of a series. If I have taken several shots of the same thing, I try to find the best one photo and I save that one. Just that one. It takes time and patience and sometimes I have to do it over a couple of days. It can get tedious. (And it's not like this is the only thing I have to do y'know?)
By this point I have usually deleted 1/2 to 3/4 of the pictures I took which leaves a far more manageable pile to work with. The last go through is for adjusting pictures, editing. Sometimes just by rotating a crooked picture a teensy bit, it becomes a far better shot. Or cropping it just a mite. In rare cases, I might want to brighten a shot or use some sort of filter. I don't do a lot of editing (mostly because I'm not very good at it) but I am not such a purest photo snob that I would never do any.
This time, I mean the Jelk's hike, I took so few pictures, that there weren't many to go through, even fewer to eliminate and only a little bit of editing. I believe what you see below is literally every picture I took that day.
There are so many great places to hike around here, I think we can probably just cross this one off the list for future hikes. Unless we want to stop and say howdy do to Peanut the picnic table dog.
At any rate, here you go. I will share with you the few shots I did take. Hope you enjoy!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.