Yet More Birds … and a New iMac
Please excuse the delay in new posts recently, but my faithful old iMac died, and it could not have chosen a worse place to do so, here in remote, no cell reception, 1 bar of 3G internet reception, Salineno, Texas. I made the switch from PC’s to Mac about 7 or 8 years ago, leaving behind the world of constantly crashing systems and buggy software and entering a new world of constant, reliable service from a very dependable piece of electronics. But all good things eventually do pass, and this iMac, that has bounced around on the dinette table of my motorhome for the past three years, finally decided to quit on me last week.
After initially trying to get a new 27″ iMac from B&H, where I have purchased thousands of dollars of camera equipment over the years, I was forced to actually purchase my new machine from Adorama Camera. I had one of the more unpleasant experiences I have encountered with some very arrogant and rude personnel at B&H, who told me they had to cancel my order with them because they could not reach me on my cell ( no cell service here at Salineno, a fact I explained to them by email ) for a “verification” call. They dragged this non-purchase out for almost a week before deciding they didn’t need my business. Adorama, on the other hand, had my order shipped to me ( Free, by the way ) in three days. Must be wonderful to be such a successful business as B&H to be able to just toss aside customers who have spent thousands of dollars with them over the years, but Adorama has earned all my future business, for sure.
With the arrival of the new iMac and dreading the process of loading all my old programs and files from my old system to the new, I actually had to move out of my spot in Salineno and take the motorhome up to the county park where I could get some 5 bar 4G internet signal as well as cell phone coverage. Turns out that migrating all my files and programs from my old Time Machine backup hard drive to the new iMac was a surprisingly easy process, even for me! Thank you, Apple.
Only glitch was when I opened up Photoshop and, to my dismay, though not surprise, found my old Photoshop CS4 would not be supported on the new Mac OS. Not just PS, but the entire Adobe Creative Suite that I had purchased for a couple thousand dollars, I no longer could use, since Adobe no longer supports CS4. My only option was to purchase PS CC for $120 a year if i wanted to continue using PS, and with the long learning curve for me to learn PS, I really had no choice but to pay yet more tribute to Adobe, and just throw away my original investment. Not to mention the hundreds, or more like thousands of hours I have invested in using Adobe Dreamweaver, part of the Adobe Creative Suite, and my unfortunate choice to design my McQ Gallery website on. All that work, all those hours, now wasted, unless I start paying Adobe another $250/year to be able to continue using something I had already purchased from them. Needless to say, I am no longer a great fan of Adobe, a wonderful example of corporate greed.
Enough grousing about all that, I am up and running again and I have an enormous backlog of images and blog posts to work on, so here goes.
I really do think the quality of the small birds in flight shots continues to improve as I continue to practice and experiment with camera settings and new bird props.
I am constantly on the lookout for new props as I take walks along the river or through the woods around the birding area. The “Y” shaped prop shown above has yielded many nice shots and a 7 foot tall piece of driftwood, also in a “Y” configuration, that I pulled out of the river the other day, will be featured in some upcoming blog posts.
I do have to finally admit that, although i still find these small birds in fight shots challenging, I sort of am looking forward to finally getting back on the road in a month or so, and seeking new things to photograph.
But you still will be stuck with yet more bird shots for another few posts.
I really am quite happy with many of these Altamira flight shots, a vast improvement on my initial attempts a month or so ago. A fairly steady stream of nice days has made the process a little easier and I am able to shoot hundreds of shots daily and move my new props about the birding yard to take advantage of the sun’s angle and the various backgrounds necessary for a pleasing shot. And as the old adage goods, practice makes perfect!
These Audubon Orioles are much more difficult to get good shots of than their cousins, the Altamiras, because of their black heads. Unless the light is hitting them just so, their dark eyes completely disappear in those black heads, ruining many shots that otherwise would be considered acceptable.
A little catch light in the eyes is essential for a good shot here, and is seldom actually available.
The fact that there are probably no more than four of five of these Audubons coming into the yard, as compared to a dozen or more Altamiras, means there are many fewer opportunities to catch them in flight. But, of course I’ll keep on trying!
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