My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Little did I know

Little did I know that when I made the change from film photography to digital photography that I’d have to expand my knowledge of computers, and make considerable purchases of computing accessories. I have my 27 inch iMac back! I was getting lost for the first few minutes of using it again, the screen is huge compared to the Macbook pro I’ve been using the past week.

The technician thinks that a bad memory module corrupted the operating system. All that they had to do was to re-install the operating system. Then, restore everything using the latest back-up to my computer that Time Machine had made. It was after that they discovered that one of the memory modules that I had installed some time ago had a number of bad blocks in it.

Thanks to my zealous program of backing everything up, and Apple’s Time Machine, it’s truly as if nothing had happened. Everything is exactly as I had it set-up before, and best of all, I have my full Lightroom catalog intact! Whew, what a relief!

In a worst case scenario, I could have plugged the external drive where I store my photos into the Macbook pro to access the original RAW captures with no editing or keywords to help me find the photos that I was looking for. What also would have been gone are the collections that I made to sort my best photos of certain subjects from all of the not so good photos of the same subjects. It would have been worse than starting over from scratch, something that I wasn’t looking forward to if it came down to that.

Besides my Lightroom catalog, I would have lost some of the other files on my computer, including the spreadsheet that I use as my list of species for the My Photo Life List project, as well as the progress that I’ve made so far.

So, during the time when I didn’t have access to the iMac, I’ve been think about different ways to do even a better job of backing everything that I absolutely need backed up and ready to go if the need ever arrises again.

I still haven’t been able to get Lightroom to make a back-up copy of my catalog to either of the external hard drives that I use for storing my photos. However, I have been able to back the catalog up to a thumb drive that I have, and even better, to my iCloud account. The iCloud account is 5 Gb of online space that Apple allows purchasers of their products to use. So, that takes care of that problem for now. As long as I can access the Internet, I’ll always have a back-up copy of my Lightroom catalog, and the other important files that I have on my computer.

Before I forget, they charged me $75 to check everything out, re-install the operating system, and do the restore. In some ways that seems rather expensive for what they did, but on the other hand, having the entire system checked out on the proper test equipment as well as cleaned makes it worth it to me.

Another bonus is that I learned a great deal more about both of my computers, and I grew quite fond of the Macbook pro after using it for a week. In addition, I learned some new to me features in Lightroom that I’ll be trying out soon.

I suppose that I should get around to the photos for this post, and I’ll start with one from last summer.

Daisy

Daisy

That’s because the weather here continues to be quite dreary whenever I have the time to make it outside with my camera. I’ll go back in time for this one as well.

Damselfly

Damselfly

Now then, back to reality.

Snowy sunrise

Snowy sunrise

The weather forecast for that day was for the holes in the clouds to open up, but instead, they closed, making the rest of the day as dreary as it could be. I did shoot a deer on the run though.

Whitetail deer

Whitetail deer

And, I found a pair of eagles arguing over who was going to lay claim on the landfill for the day.

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

It was hard to keep the auto-focus system locked on the eagles with so many gulls all around the eagles.

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

I did the best that I could though.

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

 

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

 

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

Bald eagles fighting for territory as gulls look on

It’s a lot easier to get a single eagle in flight.

Bald eagle in flight

Bald eagle in flight

Despite the lack of light, I got the best images of a rough-legged hawk in flight that I’ve ever gotten

Rough-legged hawk in flight

Rough-legged hawk in flight

I didn’t have to crop these very much at all.

Rough-legged hawk in flight

Rough-legged hawk in flight

If only there had been a little more light.

Rough-legged hawk in flight

Rough-legged hawk in flight

Or blue skies instead of the grey clouds.

Rough-legged hawk in flight

Rough-legged hawk in flight

So, let’s see what else I have saved from just before my computer crashed.

Glowing leaf

Glowing leaf

That’s right, I did catch a few rays of sunshine around home after work one day.

Rose leaves in the sun

Rose leaves in the sun

This is far from my best photo of a fox squirrel, but I haven’t posted one lately, so here goes.

Fox squirrel with lunch

Fox squirrel with lunch

Here’s a bird that I don’t post enough photos of…

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

…because it’s hard to catch one in the open and in a good position for a photo. This one doesn’t really qualify as a good photo, but it will have to do for now.

White-breasted nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

Now that I have my home computer back up and running, I’ll get back to posting to the My Photo Life List project soon, but in the meantime, let’s go back to Halloween, when I shot these. Some will appear familiar because they’re similar to photos I posted earlier, but they’re not duplicates.

Halloween sunrise

Halloween sunrise

These are the second best versions of photos that I posted earlier.

Halloween sunrise 2

Halloween sunrise 2

Or, things that didn’t make the cut when I did my earlier posts.

Whitetail deer on the run

Whitetail deer on the run

 

Whitetail deer on the run

Whitetail deer on the run

 

Eastern bluebird

Eastern bluebird

 

Green-winged teal

Green-winged teal

 

Bald eagle

Bald eagle

These were shot at the time when I was working out the final settings that I use now for birds in flight.

Bald eagle in flight

Bald eagle in flight

You can see that these aren’t quite as sharp as some of my photos since then.

Bald eagle in flight

Bald eagle in flight

 

Bald eagle in flight

Bald eagle in flight

I don’t know why it is, but it’s very hard for me to get a sharp photo of a snow bunting.

Snow bunting

Snow bunting

Maybe it’s their color, or maybe it’s because it’s rare for them to ever stop moving. Mallards are much easier to get a sharp photo of, even when they’re moving.

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

But, you can see that the exposure settings that I used then resulted in the highlights under their wings to be blown out in some images.

Mallards in flight

Mallards in flight

I had the same problem with gulls.

Herring gull in flight

Herring gull in flight

The highlights in the gull’s “armpit” were blown out. I have the opposite problem with dark birds in flight.

Juvenile bald eagle in flight

Juvenile bald eagle in flight

Which is why I’ve come up with several sets of bird in flight settings that I have now stored in the custom settings of the 7D.

While not birds in flight, I have a few more older photos to use up in this post.

Eastern kingbird

Eastern kingbird

It’s nice when a bird poses so well for me.

Eastern kingbird

Eastern kingbird

 

Male common yellowthroat

Male common yellowthroat

It’s now Saturday afternoon, and I did make it out for a walk after work. None of the few photos that I shot were very good, it was another dark, dreary day, with a few snow pellets falling from time to time. However, I mentioned earlier that I had found some features in Lightroom that I had looked for in the past but not found until I was using my Macbook computer. One of those is the ability to stitch photos together to make a panorama, and here’s my first attempt at it.

Panorama test

Panorama test

Lightroom did all the hard work of aligning the two images up, and it was quite easy to do. I hope to shoot a few other photos this weekend to try it out more, but that may not happen. The forecast for tomorrow is for our first snow storm of the season, even though it won’t be much of a storm, just a few inches of snow. Next weekend is when the real cold and snow is forecast to hit here in Michigan.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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27 responses

  1. Vicki

    your photos are amazing.. some of them look 3 dimensional..

    December 3, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    • Thank you very much Vicki! That’s my goal, to get enough depth in my images to have them look 3 dimensional.

      December 4, 2016 at 4:17 am

  2. Those bird in flight images are a real treat, especially the hawks and eagles, two subjects that I’ve always had trouble with. Maybe one of these days I will muster the kind of patience, and the level of technical skills, that you have and try again. One can always hope.

    December 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    • Thank you very much Hien! I honed what skills I have on flying birds by shooting hundreds of bad photos of gulls. You can almost always find a few of them flying around to practice your techniques on. In a way, it’s almost like shooting moving targets with a shotgun, you have to follow through with each shot, along with leading the bird a little due to shutter lag.

      December 4, 2016 at 4:21 am

  3. beautiful gallery

    December 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      December 4, 2016 at 6:17 am

  4. Snow bunting – that’s a new one on me. Looks like an awkwardly-built bird. Is it something that’s here year-round?

    Happy to hear that you escaped unscathed in your computer incident. I’ve always heard that it’s not If your computer will ever crash, but When. You sure were well-prepared for it.

    Hope we get some sunshine soon. I’m as tired of your gray backgrounds as you are!

    Have a good week.

    December 3, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    • Thank you very much Judy. The snow buntings are residents of Canada during the summer, and move down here to spend the winter. They’re tough to spot when there’s snow on the ground.

      I’m happy that I was prepared for the computer crash! It’s not only all of my photos, but online banking and other things also.

      Yeah, the constant grey skies, except for a few hours just as I’m going to bed, are getting to me already. If I were in the position that you and John are, I’d be on my way to sunnier places right now. 😉

      December 4, 2016 at 4:26 am

      • I am so ready to hit the road! Think we are leaving on Christmas day. We decided to stick around for the Crankshaw family gathering, which is going to be on Christmas Eve. Then we’re outta here! (but I could throw a few things together, and be ready to go in 20 minutes if I had to.) ;-))

        December 4, 2016 at 7:39 am

      • I know how you feel, I’d be ready to go at a moment’s notice too.

        December 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm

  5. Beautiful! Love the birds and the deer! The common yellowthroat is amazing! And snow buntings are hard to get, same on my end. They move around too much! I have also had major computer probs the last couple of months. I finally broke down and bought an iMac and love it.

    December 4, 2016 at 12:27 am

    • Thank you very much Shiela! I’m sure that you’ll love the iMac even more, the more that you use it. As much as Apple charges for them, you’d think that they could include a manual though. But then, they couldn’t sell you there one to one tutoring. 🙂

      December 4, 2016 at 4:28 am

  6. The fox squirrel is my favourite but what a wealth of wonderful images you have on this post, such a pleasure to look at them.

    December 4, 2016 at 3:55 am

    • Thank you very much Susan! Fortunately, I have a few photos left over from summer to go with the ones that I have to shoot now, while there’s no light.

      December 4, 2016 at 4:30 am

  7. It is always a visual feast coming here! I am glad your computer is up and running. Yes, the interdependence of technology forces us to learn new things.

    December 4, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    • Thank you very much Lavinia! I’m sure glad that I had a second computer, and had backed everything up on the main one.

      December 4, 2016 at 4:28 pm

  8. I don’t think $75.00 is too bad considering what a nightmare just taking a laptop apart can be. You should be good to go for a while now!
    It doesn’t look like you got that much snow, maybe 3 or 4 inches? I thought I’d heard that you got buried but that must have been somewhere else.
    The Halloween sunrises are welcome on a cold December day. We saw the sun for the first time in a while today but I didn’t see anything as colorful as that.
    Nice shots of the deer. The snow bunting reminds me of a parakeet my grandmother had.

    December 4, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    • Thank you very much Allen! Well, for the $75, they didn’t have to take the computer apart, they charge $150 flat fee if they have to do that. I’m going to think long and hard before I do another operating system upgrade online, that’s when the trouble actually began.

      Our first snowfall wasn’t bad, it was parts of New York State that got hammered by snow.

      As grey as it’s been here the past two weeks, I needed to see some color, and those Halloween images fit the bill.

      I have to shoot a few deer now and then, something besides birds. 😉

      December 5, 2016 at 2:32 am

  9. The stitching can be very useful when you you would have to get too far away from something to get a good picture of it in a single frame.

    December 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    • Thank you very much Tom! Yes, I can see how being able to stitch photos together can come in handy, for one thing, you don’t need as wide of a lens if you can stick photos together.

      December 5, 2016 at 2:33 am

  10. Great that you have your computer back and up and running. My favourite photo is the bright eyed yellow coat and the snowy sunrise. Did you put the snowflakes falling in your photos or is something up with our computer?!

    December 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    • Thank you very much Marianne! Yes, it’s great that my main computer is back and running great again, with nothing lost. I think that the snowflakes that you’re seeing are the work of WordPress, which adds the falling snow this time of year.

      December 5, 2016 at 2:36 am

  11. I am pleased the repair was so easily fixed and you haven’t lost anything. I enjoyed looking through all the images on your post very much. I liked the eagles fighting sequence – it must have been quite exciting to see.

    December 4, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    • Thank you very much Clare! I’m not sure why I finally decided to back up everything on my computer as well as I did, but I’m sure glad that I made the decision to do so.

      I’ve seen eagles chasing each other around many times, so now all I think about is getting the shot. Most of the time when I was shooting that series, I was cursing all the gulls in the background that were interfering with the auto-focus system of my camera. 🙂

      December 5, 2016 at 2:39 am

      • It is amazing how quickly we get used to seeing wildlife. I remember when we first moved from the town to the country how excited we were when a squirrel visited the garden! Now I wish they’d keep away!

        December 5, 2016 at 5:47 am

  12. I enjoyed your amazing virtual tour 🙂 thanks for sharing! I like all photos but with the birds- so cute! Bye. Kamila

    December 8, 2016 at 10:25 am

    • Thank you very much Kamila!

      December 8, 2016 at 12:53 pm