Shiny Grackle.

The new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Shiny.

My initial ideas involved ice as winter seems to be dragging on in this part of Ontario.

I then started thinking about some of the bird species with iridescent plumage and thought of the male Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) that should be arriving in Ontario soon. They’re quite a colourful species in the right light although not very popular with some people who feed the birds when they descend in large flocks.

A portrait of a male Common Grackle on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario in the spring.

A shiny male Common Grackle.

Some Best Buys.

The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Best Buy.

An unusual post for me as I don’t normally talk about camera equipment regarding it as tools used to get the image. I stopped following equipment trends long ago so most of my gear is a decade or more old and now discontinued.

Then I thought of this photo from last winter. It features some of my best buys in camera equipment, all of which is long discontinued.

  • The camera bag is a Tenba P895 purchased in the 1980s. Tenba discontinued the range about 15 years ago.
  • The tripod is a Gitzo G340, the tripod head is an Arca-Swiss B1, both from the 1990s and both now discontinued.
  • The camera is an Olympus E-3 from 2008 so around a decade old at the time the photo was taken and also discontinued.

I should add that since the photo was taken I have swapped out the Tenba bag for a canvas Domke. The reason for the change was two bad shoulders and deciding to try a bag that has a reputation for being easier on the shoulder. So far the Domke does seem easier on the shoulder but I still miss some of the features of the Tenba having used the range for decades.

The photo was taken with an old tablet I sometimes throw in the camera bag. It has an app that shows sun rise/set, moon rise/set times and locations along with a note taking app I use for recording dates and locations for future reference. There’s also an app for calculating long exposure times when using neutral density filters and an app for editing photos. Maybe the tablet should be on the best buy list.

Some best buys.

The Spirit of a Hummingbird.

The new Cosmic Photo Challenge is IN THE REALM OF THE OTHERWORLDLY.

I spent some time thinking about the challenge before Googling otherworldly which was defined as “relating to an imaginary or spiritual world” and the word spiritual made me think of this photo of a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird from last summer.

After editing the photo last year I thought of it as the spirit of a Hummingbird. I added a film type border as it makes me think of some early photographs that supposedly show fairies or ghosts.

Motion blurred Hummingbird.