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Bison at Antelope Island, Utah State Park 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Trying Out My New Camera on Antelope Island

Because we were staying in a large commercial RV park for over a week in Salt Lake City, we were able to order my new camera, a Sony RX10, on the internet with confidence it would arrive before we moved on. 


It was delivered on Friday, so on Saturday we drove out to Antelope Island State Park to experiment and see what it could do.


I started with a few simple flower close ups. There were a lot of Black-Eyed Susans along the park roads.








We went to the Garr Ranch site in the park. There was a lot of old farm machinery scattered about. Craig took this picture using my old Sony RX100. He says it looked like a giant mouse trap.


I started to snap away, concentrating on the parts and shapes more than the complete machines.


Discer








Farm device designed by Salvador Dali



Jayhawk Hay Stacker

Beyond the ranch location there is much open grassland where Antelope Island's 500 or so bison range. 

We saw several small groups that were recognizable as bison, but much too far away to photograph with my old camera.



These three were out for a walk on the very large sandy beach. 



The 600 mm zoom showed the texture of his shaggy coat.


This pair was pretty close to the road, but still far enough that it was safe for me to get out of the Jeep to get his picture. He was using the large rock behind him to get a good rub.



If he could talk, I think he would have said how good the scratching felt!



He then moved away a bit and began to graze.



Fantastic detail! You can see the grass in his mouth.

After shooting about 50 bison pictures, we went on up to the Visitors Center and found a place to have our little picnic lunch.

I am very pleased with my new camera. I have a lot to learn about how best to use it. When we bought my Sony RX100 about five years ago, I wanted a small camera that I would be comfortable carrying on hikes. It served me well, but we are doing less difficult hiking, and the RX10 is really fairly light, and I expect to have fun with it this winter.



Finally, this is a view of the Great Salt Lake from the Visitors Center. The road is the seven mile causeway linking its East shore with the Island.  That's a birdhouse to the right.

If you are ever in Salt Lake City, Antelope Island State Park is good for a day trip, and a place to see the lake. 

Note: Go on a cool day, there is no shade. Also you can swim in the lake if you want to (you can't sink).

12 comments:

  1. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing these.

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  2. Some really amazing photos you are taking with your new camera, looks like a great investment.

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  3. looks like it is a keeper. I always have fun with a new camera... humm... time to take my old one out and pretend it is new again. You've inspired me!

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  4. Nice detail in the photos and I am especially impressed with the correct exposures and true colors. I really must do a little more shooting with my RX100 and become more familiar with it. Received Craig's email with all the technical info on the camera but that stuff kinda leaves me scratching my head and wondering if maybe I should find a simpler hobby.

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    1. Your images have always been an inspiration to me. They have sharpened my eye, without my taking pictures. Now I have a tool to try to capture some of what I see.

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  5. Nice camera! That last photo is very impressive.

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  6. Do you ever enhance your photos digitally or just go with what the camera takes?

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    1. We record all images in "raw" format, which minimizes what our cameras do to them, compared to jpeg-recorded images. I process all of them individually in Photoshop. Obviously the goal is to "enhance" them in the normal English sense of making them better.

      We do almost all adjustments using the Camera Raw pre-processor of Photoshop, because then we only need to keep the relatively small raw images, rather than Photoshop format files which are several times larger. Camera Raw adjustments apply to the entire image, not to selected areas in an image. Adjustments include white balance, exposure, contrast, and sharpening.

      The main component of "our look" is that all of our images are strongly subjected to what Nikon calls "D-lighting", typically -95 darkening of highlights and +95 lightening of shadows. Sometimes -90 and/or +90. This brings out information that would otherwise be lost in darkness or dazzle. When the light is "flat", this D-lighting does not affect the images much, because few pixels fall into the highlight and shadow ranges.

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  7. Wonderful pictures. I have been doing research and trying to decide on a new camera. I thought I had it finally decided. Now I am rethinking, the zoom on this camera is impressive. The last picture is beautiful.

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  8. Allison, Tom, and Deb: Thank you for praising the last picture, which was taken with the old RX100, as were the curved rusty iron "mousetrap" and the hay stacker. All the others were taken with the new RX10.

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  9. Looks like it works great! What a perfect place to try it out:)

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