Looking back: New and old photos

I was looking through some photos that are up to a decade old today, because I remembered some of them fondly. Three cameras are represented here— a Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z6 (2004-2008), a Fujifilm Finepix S6500fd, and my current Canon Powershot SX50 HS (with just a few shots between the Finepix era and the Powershot era taken with a Nikon Coolpix). My history with the Canon, however, should be divided into before and after starting to shoot camera raw—so four phases, really.

In January 2008 my wife Sarah and I traveled to Bosque del Apache in New Mexico, the winter home of thousands of Sandhill Cranes. Here is a shot taken with the DiMAGE Z6 of their dawn ritual-walk, as crane family by crane family prepares to take off to forage for the day.


The second shot, taken with the Fuji Finepix, was originally labeled “bee” something. I find it odd that my curiosity extended no farther than that. So, it’s a bumblebee, not a honeybee. And it’s specifically a tri-colored bumblebee (as opposed to other species. (Conservationists might be interested in this website dedicated to preserving the diversity of bumblebees.)

Tri-colored bumblebee, taken in July 2014 with Fuji Finepix camera.
Tri-colored bumblebee, taken in July 2014 with Fuji Finepix camera.

Next, a photo of the same bumblebee species in the same place (our front yard), a year later, with a new camera (the Canon Powershot).

Same bee species, one year later, with Canon in macro mode (which produces CR or camera-raw photo files).

The last shot that caps off this story of the progress of technology was also taken using the Canon Powershot, in camera raw mode. It captures an accipiter (probably the Cooper’s hawk that has lived in our neighborhood of Flagstaff AZ for at least a year) “in full flight.” I can’t resist the word play— the fact that it is flying (“in flight”) is obvious, but the somewhat archaic phrase “in full flight” means it is fleeing something as fast as it can. The hawk was in fact being chased, as such birds often are, by much smaller birds which, sadly, didn’t make it into the photo.

Click here to see it on my SmugMug site.

The moral of the story is that some of the relatively new cameras like the Canon Powershot have amazing zoom lenses, and if you give them anything to work with (if the shot is at all in focus), the fact that it produces “raw” files (large, i.e. 15-20 mb or so) means you can crop them without loss of quality.

I would love to know what you think of these photos, especially the hawk shot.

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