Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The White Mountains In Fall

During the last week of this past September, I was able to spend a few days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The weather turned out not to be ideal, but the mountains were ablaze with the fall colors. We stayed at The Holiday Inn Express in North Conway. Definitely a hotel I would recommend. There are plenty of B&B's (Bed and Breakfasts), but of course we were up early to be out on the road to get in as much photography as I could, and the Holiday Inn had a nice hot breakfast and plenty of coffee out and ready starting at 6:00 am, which was perfect. There are three websites, that a friend recommended to me, and I will pass on, for they are a wealth of information for the New Hampshire, White Mountains, area, and give great fall foliage reports. They are Yankeemagazine,  http://www.nhliving.com and http://www.visitnh.gov/. 

The roads are excellent and are very well sign posted.  The most well known of the roads is the Kancamagus  Hwy, often referred to as the best fall foliage trip in the United States.  It runs E-W for 34 miles out of Conway through the White Mountains to Lincoln, New Hampshire.  There are many points of interest and trails with places to park along the Kanc, which is what the locals call it.  One could spend from a short weekend to several weeks exploring the many roads that run through the White Mountains, with most having historic little towns that are great for exploring and refreshments before continuing your journey.  We flew into Boston and then rented a car.  From Boston, Conway, New Hampshire is around a three hour drive.  If one was just going to the Conway area, there are flights into Manchester, New Hampshire which would cut the drive in half.  Below are just a few of the images I was fortunate to capture.


All images are copyrighted by Nancy Elwood and Naturesportal

Monday, September 10, 2012

HOT, But Always Something To Capture

Bird photography in Florida during August and September tends to be relatively slow. Sort of that in between stage after the nesting and fledging has finished and before the migrating birds find their way to us from the north and the cool fronts have any effect at all. It is hot, and the heat and humidity is felt by all the creatures, including humans. Plus, the light gets harsh very quickly in the mornings, so ones time is limited for that nice warm light that brings out the best in all images. But, I like to get out at least once a week to see what there is out there, and yes maybe catch that special moment. Other creatures that might have been overlooked before can pose for some wonderful images. As I always tell people, if you are not out there, you will not capture anything, guaranteed. Here are a few of the images captured over the last few weeks.
Roseate Spoonbill

Tricolored Heron

Needham's Skimmer

Tree Frog

White Peacock

All images are copyrighted by Nancy Elwood and Naturesportal

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dell UltraSharp U2312HM With LED Flat Panel Monitor Review

Recently my 19 inch, 6 year old, View Sonic flat panel monitor gave up the ghost, as they say. So, time to check out reviews, and get a new one. This would be my main monitor, also using a 15 inch Samsung for NX2 and Photoshop menus, mail and such. I wanted a larger one, but I thought 30 inches would be too large for my office desk setup. Definitely did not want a glossy display, but for sure wanted one with IPS, which is In Plane Switching. You ask, what in the world is this IPS? It is a technology developed in 1996 by Hitachi, but essentially it ensures color accuracy from any viewing angle. I went to one of my main sources of photography information, Naturescapes, http://www.naturescapes.net . It is a great photography forum with like minded folks that have plenty of knowledge and experience. There were a few higher priced monitors mentioned, mostly by NEC, but the more reasonably priced ones that kept coming up were Dell's UltraSharp models. Dell's UltraSharp monitors start at 22 inches and go up to 30 inches. I decided on the 23 inch one, which through Dell was $299.00. They are all wide screen. I clicked the "check out" button and awaited the little brown truck. I received it 5 days later. My husband put the stand on and said it was VERY easy to setup. It comes with VGA and DVI cables and a USB upstream cable, which enables the USB ports on the monitor, which there are four, two on the back and two on the left side. There is also a DisplayPort connector and a DC power connector for a Dell Soundbar. This monitor swivels and tilts for your best viewing angle and can also be positioned in portrait mode. I plugged it in and turned the computer on. The Windows 7 64- bit OS recognized it right away and installed the drivers without any problems. It went to the proper resolution of 1920 x 1080 without any adjustments by me. The colors seemed pretty good right out of the box, but I calibrate all my monitors with my Huey Pro, by Pantene. I did that, and noticed the Huey Pro adjusted the gamma ever so slightly. The main menus can be accessed by buttons on the bottom right of the display. There are brightness/contrast, Auto Adjust, Input Source, Color Settings- where you input RGB or YPbPr, Gamma- PC or MAC, and Preset Modes- Standard, Multimedia, Movie, Game, Text, Color Temp. or Custom Color, Display Settings, Other settings and the Personalize. Since I had used a hardware calibration, I did not adjust any of these settings. So far I am very happy with how it renders my images all through the steps of post processing. I would definitely recommend it or any of Dell's UltraSharp monitors.