Catch Up Post #6: Other Random Stuff

Finally, we come to the Bit Bucket. And at the end of this I will have posted seven different things in one day.

Post #1 Update

First of all, an update on Post #1. I dropped my completed Articles of Organization and the filing fee in the mail today. It will likely be in Raleigh tomorrow and I’m not sure how long it will take to process. I also got a Federal Employer Identification Number today, which was refreshingly painless. Once I get the paperwork back from Raleigh, I will be able to get a Sales Tax license and I will be ready for business!


I’ve been a busy person, but I have also gotten out and taken a few photos along the way. Lately I have been shooting with a Zeiss Circular Polarizer or a B+W 486 UV/IR Cut Filter on the front of my lenses and I am pretty happy with the results. I need to do a comparison to truly understand the differences and what I am achieving these filters. That is a post for another day (or months from now, hopefully I’ll get that far).

Tricksy Birdses

I posted a while back about the elusive Cardinals in my back yard. I can say now, they aren’t nearly as elusive as I thought. In fact, they’re frequent visitors. It is just a matter of patience.

SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/250s

I have at least three males and three females who visit. Hopefully they will stick around, maybe bring more little visitors.

SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/4, ISO 160, 1/250s

I also have a woodpecker or two in the area which is a good thing and a bad thing. It is a good thing as they are beautiful birds. It is a bad thing as my trees are offering them plenty to eat so they stick around.

SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/4, ISO 160, 1/500s, +2/3 EV

We have a nest of hawks and a nest of owls in the neighborhood and they have eluded me for the most part. One of these days I’ll have my camera out when one of them visits and get a clean shot. This hawk is about 30-35 yards away and I took this shot from my upstairs bedroom window.

SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/3.2, ISO 100, 1/500s

I wish she had turned around.

Kids’ Activities

My oldest son is still playing Soccer, or Football as they say everywhere other than the United States. Last year he played his games at night which posed a few challenges I’ve mentioned before. The lights were poor and it was difficult to get the white balance right as different parts of the field were lit differently. I will say the A99 was a huge improvement over the A77 in the night sports arena. I was able to comfortably shoot in the ISO 3200-6400 range. This year, they play in the early evening, which allows their games to occur mostly in the daylight, which makes most of my setup negligible. I have been using Auto ISO from 100-400 and pegging Shutter Priority between 1/500s and 1/1000s. Here is a shot from earlier this year before the Bermuda grass started turning green.

SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/4, ISO 250, 1/800s

Even in the waning daylight hours, I was able to use available light to get a good shutter speed. A few weeks later, and with the nights coming later I was able to get higher quality, faster speeds.

SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/4, ISO 100, 1/1250s

I have missed the raw speed and the reach of the A77. I will probably shoot with the A77 for the next sunny game.

My daughter has been singing in her school’s choir and I got a couple of shots under poor stage lighting. This one I cropped out of the bigger picture.


SLT-A99V, 85mm f/1.4 ZA @ f/2.8, IS0 400, 1/100s, -1EV

My youngest of the three doesn’t have any formal activities. He likes to play with rocks and sticks and run around. He does those things quite well.

SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/4, ISO 100, 1/800s

My oldest son finished the Cub Scouts this year and may transition to the Boy Scouts next year. His favorite activity in his five years of Cub Scouts was the Pinewood Derby. His final race is this weekend. This was after his final Pack race.

SLT-A99V, 85mm f/1.4 ZA @ f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/400s

And we had what has become an annual event at our house, the Easter Egg Hunt.

SLT-A99V, 85mm f/1.4 ZA @ f/1.7, ISO 800, 1/50s

We’ve been doing the Hunt for as long as we’ve owned the house, so all of the kids we have invited have gotten much older and more kids get invited every year. Because of this we’ve increased our egg count from a few dozen to nearly a thousand eggs and now we do the hunt at night.

Here is the best from the shots I took.

SLT-A99V, 85mm f/1.4 ZA @ f/1.4, ISO 6400, 1/80s, –2EV

All caught up, I guess.

That’s all I have today. Seven posts to catch up for not posting but once or twice in the past couple of months. Although it is still less than I would post if I weren’t preoccupied with work and other stuff, I feel like I’ve caught up enough. Hopefully I won’t be a slacker and not post tomorrow or at least later this week.      😉


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