Barkerville

We went to Barkerville Sunday June 26th, 2016. A slow day of walking about and just looking here and there. There just isn’t enough time in a day to see it all. If you every have the chance to visit Barkerville I recommend it. You can even stay on site! Check it out at http://www.barkerville.ca/.

When I was in grade 5 (1977?) our class went to Barkerville by train (from the lower mainland) and we stayed in a school gym. I really remember only two things about that weekend. Getting sick on the train (Hey – it was a baloney sandwich, who wouldn’t get sick!) and the dentist & patient in Barkerville.

The old dentist is still there. With some new stuff and buildings the trip shouldn’t be forgotten just because you’ve been there before. I took a whole bunch of pictures, here are a few to sample. The rest as usual are in my flickr share at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel.

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Farm

We were out on the farm (private property, so geo tags are not included on this set of images) to plant potatoes (well, my wife was…) and thought I’d go in search of pictures. As I walked to the hay-field I noticed a path through it, so I followed that. I came across a few flowers and I took images of them. I was surprised at how “alive” the rose was, it was crawling with very tiny insects – cool!

I carried on into the forest beyond the fence and found a few opportunities there as well. I walked towards a creek on the property and surprised a bear in hiding – not a good thing to do. It jumped up a tree to get a better look at me (and presumably size me up for dinner?) I immediately started backing away from it as I was only about 20 feet away. I took the chance to snap a quick shot (or two) but not much more. The second was blurry and the bear was starting to grunt and climb down. Fortunately the brown, black bear and I went our separate ways. My wife reminded me that it could have ended much differently…

From the hay-field I tried to set up a number of images to use for a panoramic view of the Rockies off in the distance – but I’ve spent several hours trying to correct Windows 10 upgrade issues with permissions on my computer (way to go Microsoft…) It seems that Hugin can’t handle something about the images as well and the latest version won’t install (actually any Microsoft installer seems to be having issues.) So, when I get that straightened out I’ll post something about it then. Till then here are a few images I’m happy with and the rest as usual are on my Flickr share at http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel. I’ll always try to upload smaller resolution images here to help you with viewing and you’ll always be able to view higher resolution images on my Flickr share.

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Ginter’s 2nd Night 20160506

I wasn’t satisfied with the previous nights attempt and since it was now Friday I wanted to try again. I was really after stars in a photograph and to learn more about my camera and night-time photography.

This time I chose my 35mm prime lens. I wanted some city type shots with stars overhead. I also wanted to get the “Big Dipper” and try some different things with aperture, ISO and shutter speeds to see how the images were affected.

Again I setup my tripod, camera and tablet and let loose with finger tapping on the tablet screen. While it was a lot darker than the night before the connected tablet let me do previews of what it would take. This gave me the opportunity to do some composing for the shot, before the shot. Which ultimately is actually just taking a picture, view the results and then deciding if it was good enough before taking a picture to keep.

I’m curious also about the program I’m using to edit images – DXO OpticsPro 10. OpticsPro 10 has a high noise reduction option which DXO claims to be the best. Since I shoot RAW & Fine JPG combined I’m going to compare Nikon’s D90 JPG image processing with the results of the RAW processed images to how DXO and Nikon look side  by side.

First up is a set of images that show the effect aperture has on the image with this particular lens. These images are all straight from the camera using Nikon’s built-in jpg image processing.

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While its pretty clear that the aperture lets more light in the image suffers because the lens isn’t designed for optimal focusing at F4. F8 gave a better result for sharpness in the stars but at ISO 400 it was pretty dark. Boosting the ISO to 640 helped show more star light.

Next lets take a look at DXO’s processing of the RAW images. Using DXO’s Night preset (I didn’t alter anything.)

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OK, I think DXO wins. It seems the worst image clearer after DXO processed the RAW. I like what the presets did for the rest of the images too.

The remaining images are in my Flickr share here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel except for this one. I’m including it here just because it caught a satellite passing. The image is pretty bad but it does demonstrate what happens when you’re focusing on technology instead of trying to pay attention to your surroundings.

Ginters at Night May 6, 2015 15Small

Satellite (passing lower right)


Ginter’s at Night 20160505

I read about Haley’s Comet meteors peaking on May 5th and thought because it was supposed to be a clear night I’d head to Ginter’s off leash dog park and do some night-time photography. I hadn’t really done much like this so it was really a first time thing for me.

I used my fish eye lens which is a manual lens and set the aperture to the largest opening. I attached my tablet for better viewing and easier access to my camera’s controls. I waited for darkness and stars to shine.

I didn’t see any meteors and it got to cold too stay out. But I did get a few pictures I live with.

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With such good conditions (despite the cold) I don’t think I did that bad considering I had never tried this with a manual lens.

While I didn’t see any meteors I did see one satellite pass by. Unfortunately my settings weren’t good enough to capture it in transit.


Down-town Photo Walk – April 26th, 2016

The Prince George Photographic Society went down-town Tuesday for our meeting. We took pictures of whatever took our fancy. Here’s a few of mine, the rest as usual are in my flickr share here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel

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Wells Gray Provincial Park – Sept 25th – 27th, 2015

Prince George Photographic Society’s annual field trip was to Wells Gray Provincial Park this year. At least 23 club members went on this trip (including me!) and it was a busy trip. Great people in a fantastic slice of God’s beautiful creation! There is simply way to much to see in just one full day – but sore feet I got anyway. I arrived Friday evening and right away some us went to Helmkin Falls. I have never seen such a high water fall – just stunning. Saturday morning a few us got up for a sunrise shoot at Dutch Lake, Clearwater, BC. Despite the disappointing overcast we got a number of great shots anyway and we got to go to Moul Falls afterwards. Once I looked down into the depth I just had to go down to the bottom and wow! What a sight that is – and you can go behind the falls and into the giant cavern beside the falls. Later after some lunch we headed out to Spahats Falls – again with the stunning sight! A little night time photography – something I have not done much of – and I got some shots I am very pleased with – some I’m disappointed with as well. As usual you can view my images in my flickr share here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel.

Sunday morning a few of us headed over to the bridge over Murtle River and spent some time taking pictures there before heading home. I was really disappointed because my camera fogged up. I took a few pictures and thought I’d try out the “Clearview” filter in DxO’s Optic Pro 10 suite when I got home. Well, I learnt two lessons – I should have taken more pictures even with the fogged up camera and DxO’s software really rocks! See for yourself.

Shows a foggy river rapid

Foggy 1

Shows a foggy upstream

Foggy 2

It should be pretty clear from these two images that something was seriously wrong with my camera. But I just hoped that it would clear up on the way home and the camera/lens would be OK. I didn’t hold any hope for these images at all.

Now look what DxO did to recover them for me.

Shows rapids with almost no fogginess - just some mist.

Fixed Foggy 1

Shows the upstream view without the fogginess.

Fixed Foggy 2

I am impressed with DxO’s software…


Ancient Forest August 23, 2015

The ancient forest is north america’s only inland rain forest. It’s ancient because some of the trees are estimated to have been alive since the time of Christ. It’s nice to have this gem so close to home (about an hour away). We got there later than I wanted to be and I had to leave earlier than I wanted but I still got a few images – nothing spectacular. Here is one for you with the rest on my flickr share at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel/.

Shows Sir Alexander mountain peak in the background

Sir Alexander


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