Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dreams of a 400mm Lens

I have been dreaming lately of getting a really long lens - maybe a 400mm. The only problem is - they cost more than a house. So.... back while we were in Japan I purchased a wonderful, very inexpensive little gizmo called a 2X extender. It is just a little piece of glass that attaches to the back of a lens on one end and the camera body on the other. When attached, it provides twice as much focal length to the original lens. In other words, it makes my 200mm lens into a 400mm lens. Now there are drawbacks. It slows down the focusing and you need more light to get a good sharp image. But instead of buying the house, I put my little gizmo on my 200mm lens and yesterday went hunting for turkey vultures. These beautiful birds (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) often sit at the top of a some 40 foot trees in Valley Forge. Before yesterday, all I could get were tiny pictures of them and rarely could I see their faces. Well, yesterday, only one bird was resting at the top of the trees, but one was all I needed. I parked my car, hiked through the woods to the tree and pointed my new 400mm lens up to Mr. Turkey Vulture. Here are two portraits of him as he looked down at me and one with him as he took off into the air. Oh such fun...... (Click on the photo to get a really good look at that funny face.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dancing Deer

While in the woods today, taking photographs of trees and and watching the hawks overhead I looked - and there right in front of me were two deer standing on their hind legs - belly to belly - just slapping each other left and right. I was thrilled to see such a site. I got a few fuzzy shots - so you too might share in this little bit of wonderful nature. Have fun.....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Starlings Have Arrived

We had a starling attack yesterday in the back yard. Everybody and his brother were here taking over the bird feeder. Here are a few action shots.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Japanese New Year's Party

Yesterday was the New Year's Party sponsored by the Japanese Association of Greater Philadelphia. Great time had by all. Ken sang in the chorus. Yumiko and Sally teased Ryan. And I ate way too much chocolate.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yumiko Gets Honorable Mention

One of Yumiko's photos from the Nutcracker won 4th place in a December photo contest - Wuuu Huuuu....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Home Page FUN Stuff

O.K. all you good photo fans. I now have the wonderful capability of putting a little slide show on my homepage at The first show is up there staring that beautiful dancer - Yumiko Kono - so go have a quick peek. I will try to do a new little slide show every day or at least have a new picture up there every day. Now don't disappoint me, go there now and bookmark that homepage - You will NOT be disappointed. Well, you might be. In any case, have fun....

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Party Continues

Well, we got to bed last night about 2:00 a.m. Late, late, late, but January 1 is the big Japanese day for the New Year and every year Ken prepares a marvelous New Year's breakfast. So, at 6:00 this morning, when Tilly our cat lept onto my head to tell me it was time to get up, I crawled out of bed and got started for the new year. Ken got up a little later and before you knew it, we had a table full of wonderful Japanese dishes including black beans, chestnuts, herring roe, lotus and satoimo (potato like vegetable), zoni (broth with mochi and carrots and scallions and shitake mushrooms), spinach with sesame; kamaboko (pink - yes PINK fish cakes - Barb, eat your heart out), pickled nappa cabbage, portabella mushrooms, and my favorite sake (at 11:00 a.m.) Our old friends Hans and Margaret came as they always do on New Year's Day. And dear Yutaka San was with us too. Here's a photo of the three party boys.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve and we had a party. Good food, good wine, good dancing and great friends. Here are a few pictures.