Congratulations are in order

The Jefferson County Fair recently conducted a photography contest.

We are pleased to announce that our good friends Betty and Paul Fisher and Leah and Scott Vilmer  did very well in the competition.


The Jefferson County Photography Club has a very nice write up at this link:

Please take the time to read the article and look at some very fine photography.

Congratulations to Leah,Betty,Paul and Scott for their excellent photography.

How Time Flies

Here it is— July 4th already. Seems like it was just yesterday it was Memorial Day. Summer is about half over and we have a ton of chores to do here at the house.

Zachary was here last week after attending his running camp. It is his senior year and we hope he does well both in running and his studies.

Molly and I were having coffee last Monday  morning thinking of where to take a day trip. We were looking at Meramec Springs Park and then we received an email from our good friend Fred Henning. Fred is one of the most dedicated and talented bird photographers. He was talking about not finding any Redheaded Woodpeckers and said he found some at ….yep, Meramec Springs Park. A quick reply and Fred told us where he found the birds and we planned a trip for Tuesday morning.

Tuesday arrived and we were fogged in. When it lifted we decided to take a road to I-44 that we had never been on before. Talk about over the river and through the woods 🙂

Anyway– these are ones that Molly took that I thought were interesting showing feeding behavior between adult and juvenile.

All taken with Canon 40D and the Canon 500mm with a 1.4 extender.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Photographic Puzzle

One of the goals in photographing prop driven aircraft is to get the full circle effect of the prop. This eliminates the ‘plane on a string effect’ that happens if the image is taken with a very high shutter speed. It is more difficult that it looks and I am posting an example.

The two images in this post were shot at the same Shutter Speed (1/160) and approximately the same distance from the camera. The differences are:

  1. Time of day. The white plane was taken in the afternoon. The copper one was in the morning.
  2.  Number of Props. The white plane has 2 props. The copper plane has 3 props. Add the copper plane had stickers on the prop which picked up the light and gave the 2 concentric circle effect.

The white plane also made a pass back over the air strip and I lowered the shutter speed to 1/100– the prop disappeared.

3. Molly shot the copper plane as it taxied at 1/200 and got a full circle as well.

Question: Why did we get a full circle on the one plane and not on the other? Slowing the shutter speed as the white plane zoomed the field ( and then facing into the light) made the prop disappear.

Is this like steering into a spin when driving on ice?

Years ago , I photographed an air show and a good friend told me to photograph the prop planes at 1/320. I did with mixed results. The best ones gave an “iron cross” effect that was pretty good but not the “holy grail– full prop circle”.

Any ideas on developing a relatively ‘standard’ approach to getting full prop circles for this type of photography would be appreciated.

For larger image click the thumbnail.


Ok, technically, it is still Spring but the old habit of calling anything after Memorial Day,  Summer still is in effect here. We have plans for day trips, week-long trips and also tending the raised bed gardens. Trips to St Louis, Collinsville, IL, various covered bridges, photo safaris with the Jefferson County Camera club ( are on the ‘schedule’. Add a trip to Gaston’s on the White River ( and then to see family in Oklahoma. Our nephew,Zachary, is attending a cross-country running camp near New Haven in late June, so he will end up staying here for an extended time and I will attempt to help him learn to drive (Lord…help me LOL).

We had business out-of-town and took the cameras with us. Here are some photos from Molly’s 40D and the 500 with 1.4 extender.

Click for larger image:

Mystery Bird

After each fledging class of blue birds, I remove the old nest to try and keep the box clean and parasite free. This bird has tried to take advantage of the clean box and set up house keeping. We are not sure what bird this is.

Our best guess at this point in time is Bell’s Vireo but since we have never seen a Bell’s Vireo and the Cornell Bird site pictures show a bird that has more yellow in the belly, we can not be sure.

Any help is appreciated.

You can click each image for larger image

(click lower right link to get to the 1000 px by 800 px image ( largish crop images))

Sometimes the magic works,sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes you just don’t know

This one of those ‘just don’t know moments’.

I have ideas on working these but I’m not sure it is worth the time to refine them.

Might have to look into trying Corel’s software?

End of a busy week

The garage sale  yesterday was a resounding success. Maybe not Easy Street success but we had fun, met a lot of folks from the New Haven area and made some vacation money.

Today,photographed our blue birds and the red shoulder hawk, made a good dent in the chore list and we are taking the afternoon off to grill and watch Cardinal baseball.

The following image is one of my new favorites. Last week Renee’s picture made it to the head of the favorite list and this week Scott Villmer has sent an  image and it joins Renee’s as one of the fave of favorite images.

These Jefferson County Photography Club photographers have it going on!!!

Location: McCallie’s Wildflower Farm, JeffCo Photography Club get together and photoshoot.

31 years,1 month and 3 days as of this posting– seems like yesterday and yes, we always hold hands LOL.

Photo by Scott Villmer and used with his permission


A Busy Week That Is Not Over Yet

We started our week last Saturday at the McCallie Wildflower Farm. The JeffCo Photography Club held a lunch and photography session at what is one of the most charming places in this part of the country. The farmhouse is straight out of Hollywood for what a farmhouse should look like. The animals at the farm ranged from Shetland Sheep, to an Emu, an Alpaca, to Llamas, a Donkey and Highland Cattle. Highland Cattle are the ones with bangs and the ‘bad bowl haircuts’.

Throw in some photogenic chickens and watch Molly go crazy.

Molly working the shot on the ‘Boss of the Barnyard’
Photo taken and used with permission of Renee Townsend

A great time was had by all.

Easter was in Farmington. Molly’s mom was cleared to come home from the re-hab center. It also was an opportunity to get some more baby pix of Olivia Page, Brandi and Johnathon’s little girl. Zachary came home with us so he could get a javelin for track (no one in Farmington will ever be safe again LOL) and fitted for cross country racing shoes. Back to Farmington on Monday and then home to New Haven.

Lettuce and Radishes are now planted and coming up in the raised beds.

JeffCo camera club meeting last night. Kathy O Donnell aka Kathy O, put on an excellent presentation on low light/night photography.

All through the week, we were working on pricing items for the New Haven City Wide Garage Sale which takes place tomorrow. We priced stuff to sell—-the object being to get the stuff out of the house/garage so low ball pricing rules.

I’m sure we will be on Easy Street after the sale LOL.