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Remember, gang, that I had told you all about this NEW Thing that I’m trying to do with a Crystal Ball?  Well, here is my very first try at doing this.  I’m finding out that it’s not quite that easy to do!

So, what you have to do here is set your Crystal Ball where you want to take an Image looking thru the Ball.  I’m told that you should use a slow ISO speed, i.e. ISO200 and a large f/stop setting, i.e. f/4.0 or slower.  A Wide Angle Lens helps a lot.  You want to focus on the Ball and what it’s showing  .  .  .  not the background.  You want a “bokeh” background, so the main subject is more clear.

I placed the Ball on top of a Tripod and set it in-line with the candle that I wanted in the Image.  Took my other Tripod and set up the camera.  Using a Remote Shutter, I pressed the button and this is what came out.  Now, there is another problem.  It’s not told to me that you have to turn the Image around because the Ball makes it up-side down!  Ooops!  Didn’t know that.  So, I put it into Lightroom CC and turned it right-side up!  There is another process you can do in Photoshop CC, but it’s a awful long procedure.  16 step’s to be exact!!  No thanks!

Since this is my very first try at this, I’ve learned that using light from another source, is not too good.  It would be much better to do this outside with the ambient light.  It’s also blurry and I’m not happy with this.  It is clear for the most part but should be better.  Oh yes, I did order a clear Acrylic Stand for the Ball.  Should be here in 2 day’s.

I’m going to keep messin’ around with this.  The more I work with it, the better I’ll get.  I’m going to read about doing this more.

STOP OVER

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Entering Port Canaveral, FL.

When our ship entered Port Canaveral, FL I expected to see a Port that was filled with Cruise Ships of all kinds.  To my disbelief, there was only 1 other ship in Port.  I also expected to see lot’s of places to see and places to do some sightseeing and shopping.   There was really nothing here like that.

The Port of Call was rather empty.  The only thing to really do was go on the shore, and sit on the beach that is near-by.  We only had 4 hours to do this, so we thought why not.

The Beach was nice, but a bit windy.  The surf was heavy and water darn cold.  I elected not to go into the water.  We stayed on the beach for about 2 hrs. then headed back to the ship.  There was really not much else to see or do.  If you do go to Port Canaveral, don’t expect a whole lot.

SOMETHING NEW!

Hello out there!  Hope all my Followers are doing well these days.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been wondering about this NEW thing that I’ve come across in Photography.  It’s photographing a subject with a Crystal Ball.  Named Refraction Photography it’s a much different way of Posting a Images.  Instead of just shooting a scene, you shoot what you see, but thru a Crystal Ball!  I’m here thinking that this could lead to all kinds of different way’s to capture something.

So, with that in mind, I decided to check this out and see what’s going on.  I went into my favorite place to order something and found what I was looking for.  I found a Crystal Ball complete with a fancy wooden stand and it’s 3.5 inches round.  It is totally clear.  Just like the real thing, but smaller.  They are not as expensive as I thought they would be.  So, I ordered one and it came in the mail 2 day’s ago.

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Ok, this is what it looks like!  Just like this, except without the clear stand.  The stand is probably nothing but an Acrylic Plastic.  Not sure yet if I want that quite yet.  I’m seeing some terrific things to do with this.  I have the camera equipment for it.  All I have to do it “get out there” and use it.  I’m excited about doing this!

However, there are a few rules that I’ve read about for this.  1.  Always wear cotton gloves, so as not to scratch the ball.  2.  Treat your Crystal Ball well, and protect it at all times.  3.  Do NOT use it for direct sunlight!  Not good!  The Sun could magnify the light and burn you if left there long enough.  4.  Keep it covered when not in use.  5.  Don’t drop it!!

I’m going to move forward on this, and see what I can come up with.  Remember, that looking at something from a different perspective changes everything.

HUGE MACHINES

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Hello to my Followers and Thanks for viewing.

Sunday was such a great beautiful day, so I decided to let my work around the house go by the way-side for awhile.  Grabbed my camera gear and headed up into the Coal Region Area to see what I could find.  You always can find something up here.

Just outside the Coal Mining Town of St. Clair, I found out that there was some big machinery that are used to clear ground in open pit mining.  Just what I was looking for!  It took me a bit to find this place, because when you get out on the back roads in Coal County you can very easily get lost.  Once you get out here you find that there is nothing here, but scrub, trees, and coal clum ( Clum is a word that’s used to describe shale waste & Coal dirt that has been dumped in this area for years.  There are really mountains of this stuff!)  It’s very barren.

I found this area I was told about and to my surprise there were a number of machines here just for me!  The Bulldozer above is one huge machine.  You almost can’t believe how big this is.  I stood inside the scoop and still had room over my head.  I stand 6’5″ tall and the top was at least 3 feet over me!  The Width of the scoop had to be 10 feet long or more!  Imagine what it costs to run one of these things?

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Here’s another look at this huge thing.  This machine could doze away ground by the ton.  It can make short work of a coal area.  This is why strip mining is frowned upon up here.  It does nothing but scar the Land!

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Here’s another one.  This huge coal, ground, and shale truck is called a “Yuke” in Coal Country.  Where it got that name, I have no idea.  The dump must be able to hold tons of material at one time.  It is used to haul material from a open pit mine or other site.  These trucks have massive Diesel engines that must chew up fuel by the gallon.  Would have liked to sit in the drivers seat, just to get a idea of how it feels to drive one of these, but thought it not a good idea.  Just my luck I’d get caught and face a big fine!

500mm Lens

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This is another Lens that I have in my Collection.  It’s made by Vivitar and it’s a 500mm Lens.  Pictured here mounted on my Pentax K100D with a 2x Double.  The Double Lens increases the Lens to a 1000mm.

I was not happy with the results from the 2x.  Seem’d to blur the Image too much.  I was advised by others that have this not to use it.  Just use the 500mm Lens and you will have better results.  I took the advice and tried it out.  Much better than having the 2x installed.

Again, this is not a Lens to shoot hand held.  It would be very wise to use a Tripod for this kind of Lens.  If you don’t, your Image will be blurry, unless you are that steady.

CHECKING OUT MY NEW LENS

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I know that I’ve Posted this Image before, but today I took it out again and gave it a try to see how the Images would come out.  In messin’ around with it, I found that the Lens is very sensitive to touch & any small vibration will cause the camera to shake just a bit, but enough to blur my Image.  With this big Lens set at 480mm, it will be necessary to use a Remote Shutter Release.  This way there will be no shake  .   .  .  .  I hope!

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Ok, so I went over to one of my favorite places where I could get some distance shooting with the long Lens.  The first shot’s I took were at a subject way “out there” using the 800mm setting.  The shake was even worse out that far!  Didn’t like what I saw, so I deleted what showed up.  The one above was taken from the Bridge above the Lake, looking down.  It was about 40 yds. away.  This came out better using the 480mm setting.  Not all that clear, but it’s acceptable for me.  I’ll keep working with this Lens and see more of what it does.  BTW –  The leaves around here are just starting to change a bit.  Nothing eye catching just yet.  Too early.