Saturday, March 30, 2013

Kangaroos at Onkaparinga wetlands ... touching base here

Touching base as a wildlife photographer here, before March expires -- speaking of which, Happy Easter to one and all. You must think I was abducted by aliens -- I vanished again! I actually wasn't abducted, but there have been times when it might have been preferable to what's been going on in Life. Long story short: big tussle with health, family, work, all the things we can't avoid, even if we'd much rather pack our bags and run away from home.

Soooo ... Dave and I managed to get a couple of hours to ourselves on Saturday afternoon, and it had been a long time since we'd been down to the Onkaparings wetlands, so I thought, why not? Breath of fresh air, stretch of the legs. Both of which I  needed.

Imagine our delight when we came upon a family of grey kangaroos! There were actually four of them ... the big male was about two meters tall; the female, half the size, petite and so petty; a juvenile about half the size of Mom, and a very little one, out of the pouch but still very much a baby, of joey, as they're called. I never did manage to get all four in the frame at one time, but I managed three once or twice. They're so timid, you have to be quiet as a mouse, whisssper, and use your longest-reach zoom. I'm lucky -- with the Fuji HS-series camera I'm using right now, I have the equivalent of 730mm --

People ask why I don't used a digital SLR and "proper" lenses. Two reasons: I don't want to have to carry around a huge bag of lenses (oh, I used to!), and second, my eyesight ain't what it used to be, so fine focus would be a major problem. The digital "compact" cameras provide a really good alternative. I love them, and you'd have to offer me an incredible deal on an SLR + full set of lenses, to get me to go back. Especially with these eyeballs!

So, if you're looking for he kind of camera that'll give you a long reach, and not set you back so much money, it'd hurt, you could do a lot worse than look at this ... or try this ... or else this. Now, I'm still using the Fuji HS10, but the HS30 is out. The cameras are physically virtually the same, but the later one has a faster shutter response, an extra 4MP of resolution, it's less of a battery vampire ... better screen resolution, a digital zoom (up to 60x) on top of the 30x optical zoom ... and if you have any have use for a 3D camera, this one will take 3D images. The downside is, it's a leeeetle bit heavier, and switching out batteries is not so easy, because it uses lithium ion, not standard AA cells. For me, at the moment, I'll stick with the HS10, because it's doing everything I need. A friend of mine has the HS20, and the output is so similar, you'd need to be a specialist with abnormal eyesight to tell the diff.

Sorry about the camera talk, if you're not into that kind of thing. But if you are, and you're shopping for something right now, you might be interested to take a look.

 Speaking of shopping -- I just discovered a new site for buying 3D models: Xurge 3D ...

The site is specifically about Poser-format costumes for the 3D characters. I bought a couple and will be testing them later today -- in DAZ Studio, mind you. With any luck, DAZ will read the files properly, and I'll shoot back to Xurge 3D and buy a bunch more while the Easter Sale is still on. Cross fingers, because this stuff is really, really cool. (My problem is that I can't get Michael 4 to load into Poser, because my Poser Pro 2010 is installed on E:\,not C:\, on account of me having a very small solid state boot drive. Makes the PC screamingly fast, but you run out of space just as fast. The Michael 4 installer scrams if you put in any other drive than the C:\ drive, as the target. So I need a bigger C:\ drive, right? Right. Soon.)

The truth is, I have piles of new gear ... skinmaps, wigs, costumes, props, the works, none of which you've seen yet. I just haven't had the time and/or energy and/or braincells to do much art lately. Too much going on in the background -- it's so odd: you'd think you'd relish the chance to indulge in art as a form of escapism, but the work takes the energy of creativity, and I "don't got none" right now. (Which is another thing that makes me want to chew a chunk out of people who dismiss 3D and digital art as "done by a computer." Done WITH a computer, people. You just leave the whole thing up to the computer, and see how much art gets done! People don't understand or respect the amount of skill, vision, creativity and energy it takes to do this kind of art, and do it well. *sigh* Maybe one day.)

What can I say? Bear with me, folks! There are images galore going around in my head, and stories, too. If or when life stops being such a bear, I'll be back with goodies to amuse and entertain. Till then -- well, I'm in the business of surviving...

I'll leave you with a few more pictures from the wetlands, and wish you Happy Easter, 2013!

Jade, March 31 (Easter Sunday)

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