New camera body, unpredictable weather, and waiting on Adobe

No gallery post from this last weekend: the weather report was opposite of what was predicted, so my booked-up Saturday turned out to be beautiful and the predicted-partly-sunny-Sunday turned out to be gray and rainy the entire day. That said, I had time to play indoors (with my parrots as subjects) with the new Nikon D7200 that was released (and which I bought from Glazer’s Camera) on Thursday the 19th.

It’s a huge upgrade from my D3200, particularly in terms of high ISO and autofocus, as well as configurability, so I’m still learning my way around it. Unfortunately, it’s also so new that Adobe doesn’t yet support the RAW files with their Adobe Camera RAW support. This means that I’m stuck using Nikon’s awful Capture NX-D software to edit the RAW files until Adobe releases an update to handle the D7200, so I’m avoiding doing much editing for now, instead just culling things not worth editing and doing what I can with a few of my favorite shots. Once Adobe does another release, I’ll be going over several weeks (hopefully not months!) of shots and I’ll post my favorites here.

Instead, here’s one from this weekend that I really liked, and you can see a few others over on my Instagram account.

Auri is my ~8 year old lilac-crowned amazon



A foggy morning at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

This morning a friend joined me on the hour-long drive down to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a brackish wetlands habitat on the southern end of Puget Sound, just a few minutes north of Olympia on I-5. This federally-maintained wetlands is a major nesting site for birds of all kinds as well as a migration stop-off. Seeing as we’ve had a rather early-onset spring here on the West Coast, early March is seeing quite a few early arrivals. First-of-the-year rufous hummingbirds been being reported around northwest Washington for the past week and I saw one this morning at Nisqually (see later in this post for the photo proof!). We were joined not long after we started by a wonderful retired high-school teacher (44 years of teaching!) who we spent the entire hike conversing with.

The variety of birds we saw was impressive, and my pictures only reflect a small portion of them. It was also a very foggy morning: we arrived at just before 7:30am and didn’t start seeing direct sunshine until around 9:15! The fog unfortunately meant that photos were difficult. The fog was so thick that anything beyond about 10 meters was shrouded in fog, with the colors and sharpness of any picture muted toward gray and blurry.

Still, I managed to get some pictures I liked, and saw some really cool birds along the way.

Continue reading