Category Archives: photography

My hobby that has went way too far…

Weird bug.

I seem to be on a bird and bug kick lately.  Why not?  They are plentiful here in the countryside and they tend to make themselves available for me to photograph.  I spotted this guy (or gal?) yesterday on a dandelion over by the forbidden forest on the island.  I have no idea of what it is but it sure makes nice pictures.  Anyone who actually knows what this is can leave a comment.

Photo below is a 100% crop of the original.  Shot with the Nikon D70 and my trusty 28-80mm Sigma on the macro setting.  Not bad for a cheap plastic lens.

Weird bug, Patinges France

And here is the original, slight crop and curves in PS.

Weird bug, Patinges France

Small post today, I’ve been working on some drawings that I’ll post at some point here.  But for now, the weather is beautiful, the power is out and a huge branch went through a glass door at the guest house.  I have more productive things to do.

Shootin fish in a barrel…

A few days ago the family went to the zoo/amusement park known as PAL.  PAL is about 30 minutes outside of Moulin France and for a zoo/amusement park it wasn’t too bad.  Being August and all, it meant that the entire nation of France would descend on the same place at the same time.  I knew the day would be full of walking and riding rides so I came equipped with the D70 with the 18-135mm lens, which is my best travel/snapshot set up.  I brought along the Quantary 2x converter, which does not work well with the lens but I wanted to attempt close up shots of the animals.  I have horrible eye sight and manual focus is not good for the nearly blind but I think some of the photos came out OK.  No art will be found here, just snapshots of the zoo and having fun with the family.

Momma elephant protecting her baby from the American paparazzi…

Elephants at the French Zoo

A seal having fun with the little bit of room it has.  Difficult shot, the lighting was awful, this is luck and playing with the camera.

Bored kitty cat, hanging out.  Shot with the 2x converter on the 18-135mm, good manual focus.

Portrait of an ostrich.  Also taken with the 2x converter and not as good manual focus.

Portrait of a cute goat.  The petting zoo was completly unattended by any staff, imagine that, an entire population of people who might be killed by a free roaming goat.  It could never happen in America.

Enough pictures and words for now.  Enjoy and leave long-winded comments about your love of goats.

An Ordinary Day…

Most days in our lives pass through as an ordinary day. We wake up do some stuff, eat something and then go back to sleep. Seemingly pointless…unless you have a blog to tell other people about your pointless day. Does that give it a point? Could someone else be even more bored to waste braincells reading about a strangers ordinary day? Who knows…

My ordinary day begins as any other day, wake up, drink coffee, check photos on JPG Magazine and begin the day.

Look in the mirror to see the broken blood vessel in my eye.

Broken blood vessel in my eye

No changes, so I decide to go for a bike ride in the forests surrounding our region. It’s amazing, we’ve lived here in central France for almost 3 years and I’m just now going out on these old forest/logging roads to see if I can get lost. Had a great ride, no photos though, the rain has been coming down and I had no idea how the trail conditions would be so better safe than sorry. Here are some after ride shots.

Glad I threw some big tires on the Orbea for these roads, most of them are butter smooth but the mud, oh the mud is like cement, and sticks to the bike and body worse.

The ride was only 10 miles today but I did get lost, bled and had to walk through 2ft deep mud for quite some time. Not epic, but certainly good times on an ordinary day.

Back at the ranch we’re cleaning up the borders that have been overrun by nasty vines and scraggly bushes, we worked on the front border outside the mill house today.

Where to begin??? Input from the whole family is necessary.

Michelle hard at work while play with the Nikon.

The border is still a work in progress, I may or may not post some finished pictures when it’s done. We worked until about 6:00 pm or so and had our obligitory soak in the hot tub. Michelle made an amazing Quatre Saison pizza for dinner and we all went to bed content that another day had come and gone.

Until the phone started ringing. Michelle had been in contact with the family in Denver all afternoon, Laura had gone into labor and baby Bianca would be born today.

Welcome to the world baby girl!

Congratulations to Laura and Aurturo for another perfect child on this planet! We send our love and wish we were there with you now!

The ordinary day had turned extraordinary, the family has gotten larger and happier!

As a new day starts, we have no idea what it will bring (though I have images of plumbing and painting) I’m sure that something will happen to make this day memorable. Enough of this post, I’ll be back with something else some other time.


Sometimes some very interesting photos are right in front of us.  Sometimes we never pay any attention.  We are enjoying our August break by spending time as a family and I am taking certain care to pay attention to the little things in life that make it great.

I’ve been shooting with my trusty, often dusty Nikon D70 and the amazingly clear (for a cheap plastic lens) Sigma 28-80 3.5-4.6 kit lens that came with my Nikon N75 so many years ago.  I have my eye on the Sigma 105 2.8 Macro in the near future for bugs and flowers and the such but right now I’m working the composition and technical aspects of the shots.

Elusive little critters that they are, I’ve tried to capture one of these quick moving bugs in mid-flight.  Hummingbird moth in the lavender outside the mill house.

Hairy Moth Patinges, France August 2008

Another moth photo, this one was either really old or really young.  It could not fly very well even when I transported it from the house to the terrace for further examination.  He was quick to use his wings to get away after his photo shoot however.

Hairy Moth Patinges, France August 2008

Hello grashopper…

French grasshopper in the butterfly garden.  Patinges, France August 2008

A couple of shots of what I believe to be a freaky wasp.  The first is with his head in focus with good details on the antennae. Depth of field on this shot proved to be quite difficult for me.  I wanted the bug to fill the frame and hold focus on the entire critter.  Working with the shallow depth of field in macros can certainly make for some happy mistakes, or not so happy trying to do what you want to do.

Wasp on a rose

Wings and tail in focus.

Wasp on a rose number 2

Action shot of a butterfly in the garden.  Shot with my Nikon 80-200 2.8 ED This shot was all about luck, the focus is no where near what I would have liked but the framing and bokeh of the lights behind turned out pretty cool, I think.

Butterfly mid-flight Patinges, France July 2008

I have a bunch more of these photos but with the dial up internet, they won’t be seen until winter and I get back to my home in Colorado.  We are heading on a couple of trips this month so I’ll have more travel photography to put up after we get home.  I still have 800 or so shots from Provence in June to look through so it may be a while before any of the new ones make it to the web.  Have fun and leave comments for me…

Portraits of Fast Men…Tour De France 2008

Saturday July 26th my tour group along with our guide Darren and myself spent the day watching the Tour de France time trial in Saint Amand Montrond France.

Shooting fast moving sporting events has always eluded me and my photography skills. The time trial is an excellent chance to photograph these elite athletes one at a time. The speed is higher but with the riders singled out they provide excellent portrait opportunities.

All shots are with my beloved Nikon D70 and Nikon 80-200 ED 2.8 lens at various manual and automatic settings.

Below are a few of the riders and what I beleive to be fairly good photos of them…

One of the most aggressive and prolific riders of the tour. Jens Voigt

Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial Saint Amand Montrond France

Bernard Kohl beginning his sprint from the last corner of the course.

Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial Saint Amand Montrond France

Either Andy Schleck catching Kim Kirchen(sp?) or vice versa???

Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial Saint Amand Montrond France

Carlos Sastre in his yellow jersey keeping ride!

Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial Saint Amand Montrond France

The man, the myth and the legend…Eric Zabel

Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial Saint Amand Montrond France

George Hincapie looking at the camera during his ride.

Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial Saint Amand Montrond France

Top American GC hope Christian Vande Velde smiling for his portrait in the final straight.

Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial Saint Amand Montrond France

All for now, I’ll be posting a few pictures from Paris in the next few days but I still have some interesting portraits of these amazing cyclists in my gallery

Tour de France Stage 5 Chateauroux

Wednesday was a great day to be in Centre France. My weekly tour group and I went to have a look at the big race, for the group it was the first time they’ve seen the Tour live, I told them it’s better on television but everyone should see it at least once in person.

I had some issues with the auto focus and rapid shots with the D70 and the 80-200 2.8 ED lens so I didn’t get as many shots of the peleton as I would have liked but here are a couple of them along with a photo from the CSC team truck. I have some more decent photographs from the day, I’ll post’em as I have the time.

The yellow jersey tucked safely into the pack.

Tour de France Stage 5 2008 Chateauroux

The leaders flying ahead. They’re caught in their valiant effort 200 meters from this photo.

Tour de France Stage 5 2008 Chateauroux

CSC Truck

Tour de France Stage 5 2008 Chateauroux

This is the last photo I got before the buffer filled up on the D70, note to photographers everywhere; Don’t shoot raw action shots.  This shot is George Hincapie leading out Team Columbia for the stage win for Mark Cavendash(sp?)  A guest who was shooting right next to me with his newer Canon got some amazing shots and fired at least 20 in the time my camera shot 6.

Tour de France Stage 5 2008 Chateauroux

The lesson has been learned for now, no more raw shots when trying to shoot professional sports with a D70. The time trial at St. Amand may lend it’s self better for it but I’ll try both and post the pics to this site.

All for now, I have some arty shots of Bourges that I may put up later.

Provence #2

Today we revisit our vacation to Provence with our second day in Orange. We were there for a Thursday market, let me tell you…The southern French markets are what the hype is all about. Super fresh food, amazing quantities and selection of everything. We went to the market in Orange for supplies for the night’s dinner of stuffed zuchini blossoms with grilled eggplant and sauted Girole mushrooms and fresh goat’s cheese.  No Recipe, I made it up as I went along…

The eggplant.

Auburgine Photo Provence 2008

The girolle mushrooms.

Girolle mushroom photo Provence 2008

The assembly line.

Fleur de Courgette photo Provence 2008

A really old door and entrance way.

Doorway Orange Theatre France Photograph

An old door and entrance way.

Doorway Orange Centre Ville France Photograph

Nothing more to write.