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Posts tagged ‘bees’

USA Wanderings: Up in the Mountains

Did you know that if you go up to 7000 feet the oxygen is thinner and it is harder to breathe. You also need to keep hydrated, or things start feeling wrong. We arrived up at Lake Tahoe late on Saturday night and then yesterday I started noticing how hard it was to breathe, then I got a headache. I didn’t want to believe it was altitude sickness, which I hadn’t heard about before until Anne was telling us how she had it once. In the end I realized I was dehydrated so once I started drinking more water, a lot more water, then I felt a lot better.

I really didn’t want to miss some gorgeous scenery by being sick.


We went to Squaw Valley to see some big mountains. They were very big and nothing like I had seen before.  We took the tram up to the top to look around.


This was taken in the tram as it was taking off up the mountain. You can see where we were headed.


This is what we travelled in. They are small and there was a lot of people in it. It was hard to take photos with the glass and reflections.


There are chairlifts everywhere for the snow season. I can understand why they are there, but it was hard getting photos without them in it.


Here is the view from the top. Look at those mountains. It was breathtaking, literally breathtaking. It was so incredible to see all of these.


Of course we had to take some photos of the small wildlife going about their business on the flowers. We don’t get bees like this in Australia, so I couldn’t help chasing them. A lot of fun.

I am acclimatizing to the area, and looking forward to exploring more as we travel. I’m really looking forward to today, but tomorrow is going to be amazing.

Here are the above photos and more of the mountains.  Don’t forget you can click on an image to see a bigger version of it.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs

This last week has been great, not a lot happening around here, but as we run up into Christmas I’m sure that could change.  December already, and I suppose I should start thinking about Christmas a lot more.

New Macro Lens

Well I was at the grant presentation last week for my grant and got my envelope, so the next day I ordered my new macro lens.  It arrived on Friday and the two of us have been out a couple of times now.  Part of the grant was for a Nikon micro 105mm lens, so that is what I had to get.



The lens arrived in  a lovely gold box, as all Nikon lenses do.  My first impression of it was that it was cold, the metal around the lens was cool to the touch and then it was heavy, it felt good, it was a good weight in my hand.  The next test was to take it out into the garden and see what I could get with it.  There isn’t much left in the garden to photograph now, as we are heading to summer the flowers are disappearing and the plants are conserving what they have for the summer ahead.  Still I found a few things, and was photo bombed by a bee when I was photographing one of the flowers on the raspberry plants I have.  I will include some of those photos in this post.

On Sunday morning my daughter and I went to Bulleen Art and Garden Centre to look at some plants, and of course I took the macro with me and took some photos of the flowers.  It was hard as the sun was out and it was hot.  We’ve had a few


Bulleen Art and Garden

days of heat now and humidity, I don’t like humid days.  I will include some photos from there as well.

Social Snappers

The last two excursions for Social Snappers is on this week, one on Thursday and then another on Sunday.  It is unusual that both are doing the same thing, but we will be this week.  The excursion is into the city and we will be taking photos of the Christmas decorations before and after sunset, which should be great.  I love doing this, but marketing them is proving to be challenging.  I think I am going to have to start thinking of different ways of doing it.  This blog, facebook, and social media



really aren’t doing anything, unfortunately.  Hopefully they will pick up next year.

Teaching Photo Editing

After being asked about Photo Editing in all my classes I’ve decided to try teaching it.  I am going back up to the Mallee in March, on the long weekend, to do more workshops and a big component of those is going to be teaching people about putting their photos on the computer, organising them and then how to do some basic editing.



I love editing, and it is one area that I think I know quite well, so I feel it is something that should do a lot more of.  I would like to offer some classes down here, but I will need to find somewhere to teach them, so I will be looking into that soon.

Facebook and Privacy

It seems Facebook is doing the rounds again about what they can use of your information and such that you put on there.  Everyone is in an uproar, though I have to keep wondering why, as this has all happened before.  Basically if you put your personal information, photos, videos, etc up then you give them a royalty free license to use it as they wish too, however, you still own your images.  Those are the conditions you agree to when you sign up to it. People have been putting notices up, saying they don’t give FB permission to do that, but it is hoax, and there is nothing you can do about it.


Bulleen Art and Garden

I have made the decision to put a massive watermark across any images I post on Facebook, that way if they use the images and try to remove it, then they are tampering with my copyright, which I am fairly certain is illegal.  I also read

Facebook adds, “[t]his IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

So I would think if you continued to delete your photos after they have been there for a while then Facebook can no longer use them, that is how I read that.  IP refers to Intellectual Property.  It is something I have been doing, going through and deleting all my old photos, not easy, there are a lot on there, but if it helps to protect my work then I will.

I think that is enough for today, I hope you have a good Tuesday and there is a lot going on in your world right now.


Weekend Wanderings – Royal Botanical Gardens Through a Macro Lens

On Thursday was another Social Snappers Photography Excursion, this time to the Royal Botanical Gardens here in Melbourne.  We had a gorgeous day for it, again, spring has certainly come to Melbourne.  I took the Macro lens with me again and had already decided before I go there that I would probably shoot with it the whole time I was there.  I did.


I was there just over twelve months ago and while I think there weren’t many flowers out at that time, on Thursday it was an absolute delight and we were greeted by new flowers in every direction we went.  I took so many photos, and it was so wonderful to have the macro lens to take photos with.  Again, I used auto focus with all of these and I was hand holding the camera. The weather being great meant I could get fast shutter speeds.


The bees were also out in force.  I was surprised to get two bees on the one flower and I stayed there for a while to get them.  The Tamron 90mm macro lens has been fantastic.  I have really enjoyed using it, I have to say if I was looking for an alternative to Nikon or Canon, I would definitely consider it.  It has been great having it, but with only having it for a short time, it also means that I don’t really get time to explore with it or experiment more.  Though, I have used it far more than I thought I would.  I have been finding ways of using it constantly, I think I will miss it a lot when it goes back.


One thing I think we forget when we use macro lenses is that you can use them as normal lenses as well.  I tried to take shots that weren’t just close ups as well.  I thought it would be good to take some photos of the overall things we saw, and the details.


There were so many wonderful flowers there, which is hardly surprising when you consider it is the main garden for Melbourne.  It has lots of exotic and indigenous plants.  I probably should have taken photos of the names as well, but I really didn’t think of it.  So you will all just have to enjoy the flowers.


There were even eels in the water, and they were easy to take photos of.  I hope they were eels.

It was a great first outing for the Thursday Social Snappers Photography Excursion, and we had a great time there.  If you love photographing flowers then the Royal Botanical Gardens are fantastic right now.  You won’t get bored.

Over all, the macro lens has been fantastic, it is fairly light and easy to use. I think it is a great alternative, as I said, to other more expensive macros.  If you really can’t afford a Nikon or Canon macro, then I think the Tamron would do really well. I still don’t have any money for any right now, so I will have to wait.

My weekend is half over, and we are still getting the wonderful weather.  I have a gallery for you, it was very hard to pick which photos to use, so you might see some more in another post. Enjoy your day.