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Don’t Get ‘Round Much Anymore

October 22, 2013
Wandering Glider

© jmillerphoto.com – Wandering Glider

I feel like of late I have done more blog posts apologizing for not posting than I do about anything else.  Busy times, my friends.  Busy times.

So I’ve been away for a month.  Good things and bad, I guess.

I spent a week back in California with my folks.  Mom has had a health challenge or two over the last few months and it took me that long to get back out to see her.  And if you think missing blog posts is bad…

I spent what felt like an innumerable number of hours completing the sale of our house back in San Angelo.  Sad to part with it.  But the property taxes in San Angelo were getting kind of crazy (and likely to get stupid expensive with property values going up).  As much as I love San Angelo (and I do love San Angelo), holding onto that dream with little expectation that we’ll be able to move back comfortably made the pain a little easier to tolerate.  I miss you all ready, S’Angelo.  Hope we can make acquaintances again soon.

I lost one weekend to a medical issue.  All is well, but it was a really rough night followed by a day to recuperate.

Work has been kicking my backside.  Nature of being in the profession that I am.  Nothing more to say.

I have managed to get three photo shoots in since my last blog post.

  • One good nature photo shoot in Austin, Texas.  This trip gave me a life list add:  Wandering Glider (Pictured above).  Would have been a better photo shoot had I been paying attention and noticed that I had unintended exposure compensation.  Thank you, Lightroom.
  • One photo shoot returning me to my roots of doing images of churches in a trip taking me to the so-called Painted Churches of Schulenburg, Texas (and surrounding communities).
  • And another photo shoot on my trip to Southeastern California which netted me a another new life list add:  Desert Forktail.

So other things that I have missed while I was away from writing:

Adobe got hacked.  Okay, most anybody with a connection to the outside world is going to get hacked occasionally.  The mice are better than the mouse traps.  But when you lose account info for nearly 3 million customers, that’s a pretty ugly ouch.  Way to go, Adobe.

Windows 8.1 update.  Note that I call it an update rather than an upgrade.  Broke a bunch of stuff (Windows Media Center, video drivers, etc).  Has made my life somewhat miserable.  Forgot that you should never ever be an early adopter of any Microsoft product.  As we used to say… at Microsoft Quality is Job #1.22, Service Pack 4.

Zenfolio ticked me off.  Certainly far less ugly than losing customer info on 3 million paying customers.  But they do have me upset.  While I was back in California they sent out a thing offering a 30% discount if you verified your e-mail by a certain date.  By the time I got back and got caught up, I was a day late.  I asked if they could extend the offer based on my circumstances.  They refused.  Those who didn’t make the deadline were offered 15% vice 30%, but that wasn’t enough of a carrot to get me in.  Their loss.

The importance of not shooting solo (and having good insurance).  A photographer friend of mine was doing some shooting in somewhat unfamiliar territory (names withheld because the “who” really isn’t important here).  While making an image, a stream bank collapsed on him, sending him into 6′ (2 m) deep water.  Thankfully another photog was there to offer assistance.  And then that photographer also ended up in the water, falling onto photographer #1.  Photog #1 ended up in the hospital to patch up some wounds and otherwise check for any non-apparent injuries.  Thankfully all were okay, except for their equipment.  Insurance covered that.  Key points to learn.  Shoot with a buddy in unfamiliar territory.  Have good insurance so you are more worried about you being safe than your equipment coming back safe.  And watch out for that first step… it is a doozy.

Hopefully I will get some shooting in before Winter hits.  Fall is definitely here in South Texas.  Maybe I’ll go south for a day or two…

About the Image:
This Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens) was a nice life list add.  I certainly haven’t had the numbers of life list adds that I did last year, but the images have been outstanding (except for the Desert Forktail, but another story for another time).  As always, the image was made with The Standard Gear, on the tripod but without flash.  Tech specs were ISO 400, 1/125 sec at  f/16
.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2013 11:51 pm

    Glad to see you back in blog land. Sorry about your health and computer issues.

    Mitchell Lake is as awesome as ever. When I was there a couple of weekends ago, I finally saw the Roseate spoonbills, granted they were way across an arm of the lake, but spoonbills nonetheless. It’s the first time I’ve seen them in the wild!

    • October 24, 2013 5:34 am

      Many thanks, Susan. I certainly need to get back out to MLAC. It has been a number of weeks. Dragonfly season is nearly over, but the Variegated Meadowhawks should be back there by now. I has planned on being up in Austin for the duration of the weekend, but now that those plans have fallen apart perhaps MLAC will be on the itinerary.

  2. October 26, 2013 6:19 am

    Awesome photo of the Wandering Glider! They rarely land; my only photos of them are in flight. Well, one DID land in front me about a month ago, but my camera battery died RIGHT THEN so I am still waiting to get a shot of a perched Wandering Glider.

    • October 27, 2013 10:38 am

      Thank you, Gillian. Gliders in general are tough grabs for me. My only other Glider prior to this particular shooting day was a Spotted Glider that I got in San Antonio last year. But this particular day was outstanding–I probably had at least a half-dozen different specimens land, including two on the same piece of vegetation. It was a neat day of shooting.

  3. October 27, 2013 10:45 am

    Reminds me I need to add some stuff to my camera insurance. That’s really cheap, something all DSLR shooters should have. Sorry about the rough times. Remember, those will pass and with the house sale done that clears up your schedule! I hope you post some painted churches photos. I would like to see them.

    • October 27, 2013 9:18 pm

      Rough times make us appreciate the good times that much more. I may post the churches soon. It had been a long time since I’d do architecture shots so I wasn’t overly pleased with the images. It would have been nice to do it without a gaggle of people, too…

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